Although this ended up as the Missouri Pacific, the section east of Herrin, IL was actually part of the Johnston City Branch of the Illinois Central, while west of Herrin it was the St Louis, Iron Mountan & Southern.
A portion of this line from BNSF to Herrin, is a division of the Crab Orchard and Egyptial, to serve local industries. COER started in 1972 as a tourist railroad from Marion to Ordill Wye west of town. They used a Porter 0-40T saddle tanker acquired from Central Illinois Public Service Co., used for switching for a power plant. Later, anIllinis Central tendar was attached to the locomotive and saddle tank removed. The sadle tanker barely hald enough coal and water to make one round trip from Marion to Ordill.
The depot burned down in 1977 and the railroad discontinued passengr servcie. Formerly, it operated on trackage rights from (:00 a.m. to (:00 p.m passenger servcie. The Illinois Central abandoned the line so Crab Orchard served local industries. They acquired Roberval and Saguenay 2-8-0 #17. They were the only steam powered freight railroad in the U.S. after Northwestgern Steel and Wire stopped running steam . Later it expanded into Herrin. When the boiler flues needed to be replaces on the steam locomotives, COER sold them to Jackson and Southeastern tourist line in Missori and Boone and Scenic Valley in Iowa, respectively.
They now use diesels painted in the school colors of the respective cities.
In Marion, Crab Orchard and Egyptian uses an unusual crossing signal with both flashing lights and a wigwag.