Peoria to Springfield, IL
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I have an Official Guide showing a motor train that ran daily between the two major cities on this line. I'm curious as to when the tracks were abandoned. In the late 70's I was down along the Sangamon River just south of Sherman and saw the steel trestle for the line, which stood next to the also-abandoned Illinois Terminal trestle. Today, you can find remnants of the roadbed north and south of Middletown along country roads.
In 1975, tracks still crossed old US 66 (Peoria Road) on the north side of Sherman, just south of the I-55 southbound exit, but was probably removed by 1980. There's now several houses on the west side of Peoria Road, just south & west of the exit ramp. The backs of their lots follow the old line for a hundred yards or so.
I believe that used to be a Chicago & Alton branch.
My 3 times great grandfather, and attorney in Cambridge Illinois, established the route for the Peoria line by walking its 97 mile stretch "more than once." From Henry County Illinois History:
The Peoria and Rock Island Railway was originated by Orrin E. Page, Esq., and Amos Gould, of Cambridge, who procured a charter in 1867. To their unremitting courage and labors in overcoming great obstacles, much of its completion is due. The first train passed over it July 8, 1871.
PAGE ORRIN E. Attorney, Cambridge; born in North Madison, New Haven County Conn. Dec. 19, 1817; he lived in Conn, about thirteen years; he moved to Portage Co. Ohio, in 1830, and lived there nineteen years; lived in Michigan, also in California for three years; came to this state in 1856, and to Henry County in 1859 and has lived here since; Rep; Lib; he has held office Clerk this Township ten years; was Police Magistrate twelve years; has held the office of Supervisor one term; was Director of Peoria & R. I. R. R. nine years, and Vice-President same R.R. Co. two years; he has traveled on foot the whole length of that R.R. from Peoria to Rock Island, more than once, in securing location an'' establishing the road, which he succeeded in doing; married Miss Mary A. Dean, May 15, 1855; she was from Mt. Morris, Livingston Co. N.Y.; they have two children—daughters.
I wonder if this is the railroad when you go into Riverside Park and go straight ahead and you run into an abandoned train bridge over the river going it looks like from the north to south. I wondered where it went through Springfield, Illinois to.