The Milwaukee Road in Southern Indiana

Thanks to Chad Pfitzer for contributing information.

—  User Comments  —

This is a well-written account of the old Southeastern. The line from Walz (Danville, Illinois) north to Hooper Illinois (a grain elevator east of Beaverville, Illinois) is still in operation as the Kankakee Beaverville and Southern. North of Hooper it is entirely gone all the way up to Thornton. From Danville south, it is entirely gone all the way through what was Hulman Street Yard in Terre Haute.

Watseka, IL

The last name of the man who wrote "The Train-Watcher's Guide to North American Railroads" is "Drury", not "Dury". God bless.

Cleveland, MS

Well it's gone from Bedford west to Crane naval depot now.

Brian D Gray
Cannelton, IN

Was there ever passenger service, even briefly, between Chicago Heights and the Indiana state line? If not, it may have been the longest freight only line in the US.

James Jenkins
Baltimore, MD

B&O ran passenger trains on this line as far south as Balmoral Park (Lincoln Fields) horsetrack in Crete IL. I am not sure of the date that it ended, but a guess would be around WWII.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

I think I have disproved my own point. While I have seen photos of B&O passenger trains in Chicago Hts IL, it is possible they came down the C&EI or used an interchange track to get to Balmoral Park(Lincoln Fields). The CTH&SE did run just to the east of the track, but there is no evidence of a platform on that side of the facility. There is however, evidence of a platform on the west side of Balmoral Park, as the C&EI right of way passes just to the west.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

Have heard accounts that indicated Southern was very enthused about the prospect of connections to Chicago and west through the Terre Haute division in the 1970's but that the Milwaukee Road was in such poor condition they could not successfully handle the traffic.

Also accounts indicate that accounting fraud in Milwaukee Road hid costs by wrongly charging them to the Pacific Extension. When the PE was cut it ended up costing money instead of saving because then they found where the expenses were really coming from, the parts they kept.

A large part of the accounting 'games' were done in expectation of a merger with Chicago & Northwestern to make Milwaukee Road look more profitable than it was. When the merger was disallowed by the government they had been deferring maintenance for many years. They struggled for years playing shell games with the expenses and hoping to recover somehow. They did things like scrap the electrification on the PE in anticipation of $12m for scrap value that turned out to be $2M. This was months before the first oil crisis when everyone got zapped by shortages and tripled prices.

Torrance, CA

Balmoral Park was serviced from C&EI. I can remember the white covered station platforms along side the west side of the racing park. There was a spur off the C&EI that cut across the main road into the track.

Steve Cobb
Park Forest, IL

Yes, C&EI did run passenger trains to the west of Balmoral Park. The CTH&SE trackage ended just to the north of the racetrack on the EAST side. The connection going north is the former B&OCT. That line ran west of the city, and was a direct link to both Washington Park in Homewood, as well as Sportsmans Park in Cicero. I believe that these rails moved race horses between these facilities.

Wikipedia says that the B&OCT ran passenger trains as far as Glenwood IL. I have seen photos of B&O passenger trains as far south as Steger IL, which would have put them on the C&EI trackage.

To the best of my knowledge, C&EI never crossed Rt 1 to deposit passengers at the track. I worked at Balmoral for ten years. There is a tunnel underneath that road.

Most people say that the CTH&SE line was abandoned north of Kankakee in 1979, I watched SOO SD40's pulling coal trains into the 1980's.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

@ Dale. What I believe you are talking about is the old NYC Egyptian line. Not much info, but if you google "egyptian line momence", a few photos will pop up.

Best as I can tell, this line didn't go to Joliet.

Anyone interested in this thread can contact me directly

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

Actually, that line is the old NYC Kankakee Belt. I knew it was NYC, then at some point came under NS control.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

The north end connection of the CTH&SE is still a bit of a mystery. By all appearances, CTH&SE (MILW) trains had to meander through sidings through Chicago Hts. Does anyone have say 1950's era maps of this area? I can follow the abandoned easement north of Crete for a short way, but it gets lost in Steger IL, but I can see where it would have connected in Chicago Hts.

Using Google maps, I have found where the old B&OCT technically terminated it's line in Chicago Hts. The connection appears to have been cut at the Chicago Heights Steel plant. The CTH&SE connection is on the east side of Chicago Hts Steel and is still in use today.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

Dan, Steve,

Check out this abandonment for a few more clues:


The line you are asking about is covered here:


Randy Bosma
South Holland, IL

Hi Randy,

It's unfortunate that we can't correct old posts. I have walked the B&OCT many times. Today it's a bike path. Back in the day, I saw one SOO powered coal train take this route. I used to have an issue of TRAINS magazine that had a detailed article about the CTH&SE. That article stated that the RR terminated in CRETE IL. The embankment can still be found in places. It is unknown whose track it was between CRETE and CHICAGO HTS. Most of that area has been built over, but Google maps show it in a straight line when you can find it.

Wikpedia said that the B&O ran passenger trains on this line as far south as GLENWOOD IL, and that service was discontinued in the 1920's I believe. I have seen a photo of a B&O passenger train that claims to be at a depot in CHICAGO HTS. That depot looks VERY similar to the one that still stands in STEGER IL, which is actually an old C&EI station. Hope this makes sense.

Dan Fitzgerald
Chicago Hts, IL

The Milwaukee Road did have a line from Joliet to Momence, part of it is a rail trail which runs just a little east of the Joliet Speedway, the Milwaukee rd would use this line to access coal fields in southeastern Indiana for use in their steam engines, the Milwaukee Rd used trackage rights on the E J & e to connect this line to their main line in Northern Illinois

Robert Potts
Midlothian, IL

I remember seeing a train engine with four cars and a caboose over the trestle on IL Rte 50 and the IC tracks. This was during the mid 1970s as my grandfather was driving us to Kankakee to see relatives. (He passed away in November 1975 so my guess was summer of 1974 as I was about ten years old.)

Chicago, IL