This web site features images scanned from a 48-page publicity booklet produced by the Chicago & Illinois Midland Railway. The booklet includes only four pages of text, with a brief survey of the railroad’s history. The rest of the booklet consists of pictures of railroad right of way, stations, facilities, rolling stock and locomotives; and a map.
The booklet was issued around 1954 at the instigation of long-time C&IM president Fred Schrader. The text refers to the end of passenger service in 1953, but the photographs come from earlier years (note the automobile models in a few pictures). The map still shows lines long-abandoned in the 1950s such as the Chicago, Springfield & St. Louis, and the Illinois Central Electric interurban line in Fulton County (discontinued in 1928).
According to central Illinois railroad authority Richard Wallin, who co-authored (with Paul Stringham and John Szwajkart) a 1979 book on the C&IM, the booklet’s photographs were taken by the Herbert Georg studio of Springfield. The images do not include the 750-series 2-10-2s purchased in 1951 from the Atlantic Coast Line because, according to Mr. Wallin, the railroad had ceased to use the George studio by the time those locomotives arrived. The C&IM operated steam power until 1955, when Mr. Schrader, a steam enthusiast, retired and the railroad transitioned to diesel power.
Formerly owned by Commonwealth Edison, the Chicago & Illinois Midland is now the Illinois & Midland Railroad, part of the Genesee & Wyoming system.
Click on the selection below to bring up a full size image. You can also page through the book sequentially. All pages are shown except blanks, and the back cover which has a black-and-white version of the C&IM herald. In its place we have substituted a photo of one of the ex-ACL 2-10-2s. I have added my commentary only on the pages showing steam locomotives.
Dr. Richard Leonard