Danville to Farmer City

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The crossing of the P&E and the ICG (left to right) in Farmer City, IL. While the diamond has been removed, the tracks for the P&E, now abanonded, remain in place. The ICG/CN line still sees a lot of rail traffic today. Photo by Jeremy Harris, December 2007.

This former Peoria & Eastern (ex-New York Central) line was formerly used for grain hauling, as evidenced by the many elevators along the abandoned route. Though out of service, rails remain on the ground at Hillery Yard in Danville. Shortly west of Danville, all rails have been removed but ballast remains, the ROW is clearly visible and a number of bridges are still in place.

Some remaining rails are still visible and isolated in the city of Urbana.

In Farmer City, the crossing diamond with the still-active CSX (nee-IC) line has been removed. The abandoned tracks are still in place between Danville and Bloomington, as Norfolk Southern has railbanked a majority of the line. The tri-light signals, favored by NYC in this area, are still in place on both sides of the crossing.

From Mahomet, traveling west, to beyond Farmer City, all rails remain on the ground.

Two short segments of the line remain in-use to feed grain cars to crossing active railroads. These are at the towns of Mansfield and Farmer City.

A signal still burns yellow on the abandoned line just east of Mansfield. Red signals burn at Mansfield to protect the active crossing line where short pieces of the abandoned P&E are used to bring grain out to that line.

See also The Danville Secondary.

Thanks to Jeremy Harris for contributing information about this route.

I was just wondering where at is the bridge directions that the photo is displaying?

Mailing Address:

Brock E. James

1120 Saratoga ST

Danville IL. 61832

Brock E. James
Danville, IL
6/15/2009

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The depot you show is ex Illinois Terminal. The "holes" in the "cupola" are for transformer boosts to the wire.

CarterB
NJ
11/19/2009

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Shouldn't the active line through Farmer City be Canadian National and not CSX? God bless.

Chris
Cleveland, MS
8/23/2010

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According to Google Maps street view, that former Illinois Terminal substation is in Fithian, Illinois, just west of Muncie.

Chris
Cleveland, MS
8/23/2010

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The number 6 photo is indeed in Fithian I owned the depot for several years and spent many hours on the renovation of the building, before remarrying and relocating.

Terry Meadows
Cape Girardeau, MO
12/11/2010

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I don't believe that the section from Mansfield east through Urbana is abandoned. I have seen recent moves on this line which provides a link from here to the NS line at Mansfield. There are several industries in Urbana that are still serviced as well as several on the west side of Champaign. The light still burns yellow east of Mansfield because that part is not abandoned.

Charles Gibson
Champaign, IL
6/27/2011

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The line is still active as far east as Smith Road in Urbana. Emulsicoat gets tankers for their business. Also, there is a spur that turns south across east Main St. in Urbana so hoppers can be delivered to Solo Cup. Still 3-4 trains a month. Photo 9 shows the still active diagonal crossing through the intersection of University and Lincoln in Urbana. There is a yard behind the CU MTD building where concrete foundation remnants of the Big Four shops can be seen.

Mike
Urbana, IL
7/9/2011

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Recently noticed a Herzog ballast train unloading ballast on the line from downtown Champaign all the way to Smith Road in Urbana. Also several piles of ties and rubber for the grade crossings. I wonder if NS is updating the railbed for future reactivation of the line east to Danville?

Mike
Urbana, IL
8/27/2011

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From a 2011 review of Google Maps satellite view, it appears that the line from Urbana (Smith Rd.) to St. Joseph, IL is also abandoned and all track has been removed. As noted by others, photo #11 (formerly #6?) is in Fithian 1.5 miles west of Muncie, IL, and is an ex-Illinois Terminal combination substation/depot. See http://www.billburmaster.com/lfta01/ilterminal_sta.html

Randy Bosma
Cook County,, IL
11/28/2011

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The Illinois Terminal paralleled this line from Urbana (where Main Street hits IL 130) to near Danville. Both grades are visible in most areas.

The Solo Cup branch was part of the NS/N&W/Wabash Sidney to Champaign line

K Andrew
Green Bay, WI
12/17/2011

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Only the line East of Urbana is abandoned. The grade is owned by CSX East of Smith Road in Urbana and is in negotiation to become a bike trail to Danvile. The rest of the line from Urbana to Bloomington is owned by NS and is NOT abandoned. True "abandonment" requires the permission of the Surface Transportation Board. Just because there are weeds and small trees growing in the track does not constitute abandonment. NS still operates the line from Mansfield (via a connection with the exWabash Decatur-Bement-Chicago Bluebird line) to Urbana. They do not presently operate trains from Mansfield to Bloomington due to a bridge near Farmer City that needs replaced. A grain elevator owner has been trying to get NS to re-open the line for service, even offering to pay for the bridge replacement if NS will reactivate the line.

Thomas Scott Jr.
Monticello, IL
5/30/2012

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what elevator is wanting the ns to reactivate the line? it would too cool if they would

william
danville, IL
1/20/2013

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My father-in-law owns an excavating business in Downs, IL and also had contacted NS about the line. Turns out it just isn't enough to justify what will now be a HUGE expense to reactivate. One of the main reasons they kept the ROW is because SPRINT buried a very high-end fiber optic cable under the ROW that goes from the UofI to ISU...

Logan Geigner
Bloomington, IL
4/19/2013

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I remember back in '75 or'76 staying at a motel in Urbana that was right next to this line. I heard the signals and ran out to see what was going on. Being from the Chicago area at the time and seeing a NYC freight WITH caboose was pretty cool. Of course this was before the internet and wondered what a NYC train was doing in central IL. In the early 80's I married a girl from Newman IL and would go to a bar called Les's (a dive) right along the tracks. Every so often I'd see a CR frt go by. Either I spent to much time there...or just got lucky seeing a train lol

Paul G
Albuquerque, NM
4/21/2013

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Was in area for IU football game,noticed abandoned row along rt150 to St joseph.Glad i found ur site,no need to wonder what line used to be.

Interest in Ghost RR's

Bob M
Lawrenceburg,IN, IN
9/29/2013

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If the rails in Mahomet are abandoned, where is it on the map?

Joshua
Chicago, IL
3/24/2015

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as mentioned from one other comment, from mansfield to champaign, the NS has a local, dont know the frequency, and also takes grain trains the andersons on the edge of town, i work less then a mile from it. and yes i know there is a fiber optic line under or next to the right of way, there are signs every 20 feet it seems. the line is just wasting away but there is no real business to reopen the line. the CN serve farmer city and NS has their bloominton district line to serve mansfield. and downs has no business and unless there is a big company or industrial park moving in along the line, it will forever be overgrown. now this is all from champaign going west as i dont go east of champaign.

Timothy Cole
Farmer City, IL
5/27/2015

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