Lincoln to Havana

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Map submitted by Mike Fromholt.

This is part of the Illinois Central Havana District, from Champaign to Havana. The line started at the junction of the Illinois Central and Peoria and easern and Wabash in Champaign, IL. The line went west of Champaign along Illinois Route 10 to White heath. From there a line went southwest to Decatur and one went Northwest to Clinton, with an interlocking at Lodge. At Clinton, the line joined to Gruber Line and split at the crossing of the Chicago Division Gilman Line. Just west of town, past a viaduct that crossed Illinois 10, the line split off toward Lincoln. At Midland City, there was only a crossing gate at the Pennsylvania Railroad Peoria Branch. There was an interlocking at Lincoln over the GM&O and Illinois Central Peoria to Evansville line.

There was a gate over the GM&O P&N line and an interlocking over the Chicago and Northwestern Neilson to St. Louis line, and an interlocking over Chicago and Midland Line in Havana. Most interlockings were yellow-only semaphores for distant signals and three color lights for home signals.

It was in the 1970's and 1980's that the line was abandoned in segments. First the line from Seymour to White heath was abandoned. They did not want Burroughs to buy it as a short line, the failures he had had with Prairie Trunk, Prairie Central, etc. Then the Havana to Lincoln Portion was abandoned, except for a short stretch in Lincoln to serve local industries.

In 1987, the line from White heath to Monticello was sold to Monticello Railway Museum. They ahd been running on two miles of adjacent track laid down by museum members on former Illinois Terminal Right of way. Now they could go up to eight miles and onnect the depots moved to the line.

Decatur Junction purcheased the remainder of the Decatur Branch for grain hauling from Cisco to Argenta to Oreana to Decatur and Assumption form purchase of another Illinois Central abandoned line.

Canadian National runs on the former Havana District from Champaign to Seymour. There is daily service to Kraft Plant and often to Central Materials. A new spur was built for this purpsoe. The line continues to Bondville and Setymour to serve grain elevators.

Becasue the train must go backwards one way and there are a lot of grade crossings in Champaign, some, but not all with flashers, only one with gates, cabooses are still used on this line. A new cherry red Canadian National caboose is usually used on the line. Formerly, an Illinois Central grey caboose was used.

George Carlisle
Urbana, IL
1/13/2014

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/i1c
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