Friday, May 16, 2014

C&A: Chicago and Alton Railroad Overview

Update: tracks in the Chicago area explains subsequent corporate ownership by B&O, forming the GM&O by merger, forming ICG by merger with IC. The part south of Joliet was sold to Chicago, Missouri & Western (CM&W); bankruptcy; sold to Southern Pacific, which was bought by Union Pacific.
Source: 1991 Map, ©, used with permission and is authorized for this site only.

Bill Molony posted
This map of the Chicago & Alton Railroad is from the 1921 Collier Atlas.

Bill Molony posted
May, 1922 map of the Chicago & Alton.

According to Richard Parks, the Chicago and Alton Railroad right-of-way was built from Alton, Illinois (on the Missisippi north of St Louis) to Joliet between between 1847 and 1855. It used the Chicago and Rock Island to Chicago and La Salle Street Station. The Joliet and Chicago Railroad was chartered on February 15, 1855 and opened in 1856. This is the route that shares the Des Plaines valley with the SantaFe and it completed the C&A between Chicago and Alton. On Dec. 28, 1863 the Alton and the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad completed an agreement for the Alton to move from the Illinois Central depot, where they had been briefly, to the PFW&C depot on Madison Street, later to become the Union Station.

The C&A introduced innovative passenger cars for the very competitive Chicago to St. Louis service. The McLean County Museum of History has some pictures of the Bloomington shops.

An 1885 map:

David Rumsey has an 1878 version of the above map that you can zoom and pan. And a map of the Bridgeport area is an interesting 1908 reference.

John Sniffen posted six images with the comment: "Chicago &  Alton Railroad - "The Only Way"- in the June 1921 Official Guide to the Railways. Note the Hummer overnight train between Kansas City and Chicago."






Bill Molony posted two images with the comment: "The is the original 1930 article from Railway Age describing the purchase of the Chicago & Alton by the Baltimore & Ohio."

This posting and some of its comments have photos of some of the C&MW locomotives, 30 GP38's from Penn Central and GP40's from Western Pacific.

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