Excerpts from an 1895 Big Four public timetable, including schedules of passenger trains between Indianapolis and St. Louis. The "Short Line" between Hillsboro and Lenox Tower (Mitchell) didn't open until 1904, so at this time all trains ran via Litchfield, Gillespie, Bunker Hill and East Alton on what later became known as the "Old Line". I grew up hearing stories about the "Knickerbocker" and the "Mattoon Accommodations" from my great uncle, who was born in Litchfield in 1888, and I have fond memories of trains on both the Old Line and the Short Line.Bill Edrington The number of through trains on the Big Four was even more impressive from the 1920s through the early-to-mid-1950s, although the all-stops "accommodation trains" began to disappear fairly early because of competition from interurban lines and private automobiles.
Jacob Hortenstine Litchfield was once home to the Big Four car shops if memory serves me right was moved toMattoon after shortline nuilt
Bill Edrington The car shop was actually moved to Mattoon in 1871, after the Indianapolis & St. Louis had built its line from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, took over the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute, and established Mattoon as the crew change point roughly halfway between Indianapolis and St. Louis. David Settlemire bought the shop building in Litchfield and operated it as the Litchfield Car Works for a number of years, before shutting it down and moving the business to Mt. Vernon.
It always struck me that Big Four got the little railroads that NYC or PRR did not snarf up.