Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Prairie Trunk Railroad (PARY), a B&O Remnant

The Baltimore & Ohio was primarily an east/west railroad. But it had a branch that meandered its way south from Beardstown, IL, to southern Illinois: Beardstown (CB&Q), Ashland (Alton), Springfield (several railroads), Taylorville (St. Louis branch of Wabash), Pana (C&EI and Big Four to the east), Cowden (NKP/Cloverleaf), Moccasin (joins C&EI), Altamont (crosses Penn and leaves C&EI), Edgewood (Illinois Central), Flora (B&O), Fairfield (Southern), Enfield (L&N), Norris City (Big Four (Egyption line)), joins an IC branch to go to Shawneetown. I added a yellow line to "connect the dots." Obviously it is not geographically correct but it gives you a general feel for how the line went east and south across the state

Satellite plus Paint
(Update: Flora to Shawneetown and other Illinois B&O routes)

In 1979 [trains, Feb 9 2011 9:59 PM], B&O abandoned the Beardstown-Springfield segment and the rest was sold to Craig Burroughs who formed the Prairie Trunk Railroad (PARY) for this route. From TrainOrders I learned "My boss Terry Respondek used to work for this line and he told me it was pretty much 5mph with slow orders on some of that track.They did have at least one GP-7 from Belt Railway and an RS-3 but thats about all I know of it." "The lines operations were suspended in June of 1984 and was abandoned in July of 1985"

Roger Kujawa posted
Just a few hours after publishing this page I came across this posting in a couple of groups. I chose the link to the public group.

Roger's comment:
I welcome notices about Illinois railroad books even if not actually about Peoria. There is a great story about the B&O line from Shawneetown to Beardstown in the new B&O historical society mag. There is a lot of info just on the railroads in Springfield. Almost 30 pages in the article.
Erik Spoonmore B&O RR Society. 2nd Q 2015 issue #60372.http://www.borhs.org/shopping/index.html

Update: Zachary Walters has taken some pictures of what is left along this route.
The Springfield & Illinois Southeastern, chartered in March 1871. Like so many other railroads it was forced into receivership by the Panic of 1873. It was sold to the Ohio & Mississippi at foreclosure for $1.7 million in 1875. The O&M became B&OSW in 1893, and B&O proper in 1900. [trains]
So I will used the label abanBaOSW for towns along the Beardston-Shawneetown route in the Towns & Nature Blog such as Cowden, IL.

A Facebook posting with several comments. Of note:
Michael D'Amico Mr. Burroughs also operated the nearby Prairie Central Railway at the same time. The PACY operated a fleet of secondhand CR U25Bs and GP9'S and went belly up around the same time as the Trunk. Most of Mr, Burroughs shortlines met horrible deaths with alot of controversy.
Eric Zerkle They all were scrapped. I've heard he went into hiding for a while.



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