Map submitted by Mike Fromholt.
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This was the PRR, before that the Terra Haute and Peoria RR, the portion between Decatur and Peoria was later bought by Illinois Terminal, and then Norfolk Southern ran it after the IT takeover, and abandoned it in 1989. The section considered here was called Wabash Vally for a while, a Craig Burroughs short line, when it wasn't included in Conrail, but didn't make it and was torn up around 1980. I found this photo on facebook on the Penn Central Historical Society webpage, it says the bridge is around Oakland, roughly mid-point on the map above, it is the only one I have ever seen of this part of line:
The bridge in question 9is over the Little Embarass River and adjacent to Illinois 133. Not far east is the Oakland Interlocking. The railroad sued Pennsylvania position lights, just three yellow horizontal lights for stop, which it showed all the time except when cleared for the few trains. Three vertical yellow lights showed the line was clear. There was a distant always-yellow semaphore about a mile either side of the junction of the Nickel Plate Clover Leaf District. This line survived from Neoga to near Metcalf as the Eastern Illinois Railway Corporation for grain traffic. Similar interlockings were at Arcola for Illinois Central,and Arthur for Chicago and Eastern Illinois. Lovington had only a stop sign for the Sullivan Branch of the wabash. Hervey City had an Illinois Central three-light signal at the junction, from whence Pennsylvania had trackage rights on Illinois Central through Decatur to Maroa.
My grandfather had a farm just north of this line at Arcola. His house was next to the Illinois Central main, so I spent most of my time there during early 1960s watching the IC, but the once-a-day PRR local freight provided an interesting contrast as it trundled in, exchange a few cars and went on. Engines were F units in burgundy with an air-horn that was kind of a deep beep. Wish I had taken a photo, but I didn't even get the IC trains. Too busy watching and being enthralled.
Do you have any pictures or information about Hervey City to Dennison? Please