Cullom to Herscher


Map submitted by Mike Fromholt.

(Forwarded from the Bloomer Shippers Connecting Railroad)

Part of this line is the Bloomer Line, the Bloomer Shippers Railway redevelopment League, who took over parts of the Illinis Central Bloomington District and Norfolk and Western from Risk, near Strawn, to Gibson CCity. This line was light duty, with few grade crossing flashers, mostly on major highways. Interlocking at Chatsworth was a primitive color light system with TP&W: color light signals on TP&W, once green all the time except wehn a train was on the Bloomer. Bloomer line has dwarf signals.

At Risk, the same was true, high signals on the Wabash/N&W and dwarf signals on the Bloomer. Now, that is merely a switch, as former N&W switches to the Bloomington District instead of crossing. Block signals on former N&W are removed. The entire line is within yard limits.

For a while, the Chatsworth Historical Society operated dinner trins on this line. No food was eaten on the train but stops were made at restaurants in towns along the line. This practice was stopped when it was declared unsafe to carry passengers on the former Illinois Central Blooming District. Track was poor and limied to 10 mph. The former Wabash line was good for about 49 mph.

George R. Carlisle
Urbana, IL


When I was last there in 2009, the rails were still in place between Cullom and Kempton, but considered out-of-service and used for car storage. There is a wye out in the field between Cullom and Kempton that once connected to the now-abandoned IC line to Minonk, IL. The switches were in place but I did not walk around the wye legs due to brush overgrowth. IIRC, the two bridges near the wye were suspect and prevented trains from going to Kempton.

To elaborate a bit more on George's comment:

The IC Bloomington District is in place from Otto to Herscher (CN) and Kempton to Colfax (Bloomer Line). At Colfax, there is an impassable bridge at the west end of town, though the rails continue further a short distance. If I remember right, the Bloomer had installed a bumping post just prior to the bridge, as Colfax is on a hill towards the bridge. Though I was at the end of track many times, the overgrown brush prevented me from ever getting a good look at the bridge.

Tyler Bundy
Decatur, IL


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