Sterling to Shabbona

The Chicago and Rock River Railroad

Point of Interest

Map submitted by Lee M.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

The Chicago and Rock River Railroad was built in 1888 between Shabbona and Sterling, Illinois, where it connected with the Chicago & North Western Railroad. It was later sold to Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1899, who abandoned it in 1939 and 1984.

Thanks to Lee M. for contributing information about this route.

In the 80's when i drove through Paw Paw, nearby east and west of Amboy Il, there were still RR crossings and i saw that East was still in use by ICG (that ran N\S through amboy) for service to farm silos. Just east of Paw Paw on Chicago Rd it still had the bank in the road for the RR crossing but the track itself was gone. this road was flattened and repaved in the late 80's.

Lee M.
Dallas, TX


i have some pics form sterling rock falls area from the 80s

if you want to see them just ask

sterling kid


sterling, IL


I remember hunting on my cousin's farm which was adjacent to the C,B&Q and seeing a short consist bringing grain cars from the grain elevator at Walton,IL. The train had to creep along as the track was is such disrepair in the late 70's.

Tom Curtin
Cary, IL



I'm looking for pics of the Railroad Roundhouse that was in Rock Falls IL. I've looked for photos, and so have many others and we can not locate a photo of the Rock Falls Roundhouse. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Safe Travels,


Rock Falls Tourism-Janell
Sterling, IL


Shortened Link:

Do you have any pictures or information about The Chicago and Rock River Railroad? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.