Saint Francisville to Paris

Point of Interest

Map submitted by Mike Fromholt.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

(Forwarded from the Prairie Central Railroad)

Always get to see the remains or what remains of the line when i go to my aunts kinda sad I mapped some of this on Google Earth

Jesse Krauter
Kathleen , GA


This line was part of the route for the Egyptian, an overlight passenger train from Cairo, later cut back to harrisburg, to Chicago. This train lasted until the mid 1950's. It hauled mostly coal traffic.

Conrail did not want this line in 1976 so it became the Prairie Central, a Burroughs short line that failed. The former Decatur to Paris Pennsylvania line was also part of the Prairie Central. That line was theretofore the Wabash Valley, operated by Morrison Knudsen.

Only a small portion of this line exists south of Paris: a line to a cola mine south of Mount carmel, and another branch crossing the Wabash River to a power plant.

The old Railroad bridge still exists at St. Francisville, IL. This is called the wabash cannonball bridge, a one-lane through truss bridge with a rickety wooden floor. It is the true "Wabash" bridge from the bashing, clattering sound of floorboards when crossed. The City of St. Francisville levies a toll to maintain the bridge.

It is one-lane only and no signals control traffic, just a yield sign. This bridge was on a branch from St. Francisville to Vincennes.

Interlockings were at Robinson, Lawrenceville, Mt. carmel, Grayville, Carmi, Norris City and Forman (south of Vienna0 Grade separated crossings were at Marshall and Stonefort. Karnak was a gate and Cairo had stop signs for crossings of minor industrial tracks.

George R. Carlisle
Urbana , IL


Good write up, but I don't think the Prairie Central existed yet in 1976. I remember them coming through our county back in the early 80's.

Ken Pryor
Flat Rock, IL


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