Chicago and Illinois Midland Railroad Collection


Chicago and Illinois Midland Railroad Collection


Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway Company
Railroad trains
Commonwealth Edison Company


The Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway Company began in 1888 as the Pawnee Railroad, running from Pawnee, and later Taylorville, to the Illinois Central Railroad mainline. The Chicago Edison Company (later Commonwealth Edison Company) purchased the Pawnee Railroad in 1905 to transport coal from Illinois' coal fields to Chicago Edison's power plants in Chicago. The railway's name changed to Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway Company at this time.

Commonwealth Edison attempted unsuccessfully to sell the railroad after the passage of the Clean Air Act in the 1960s. After changes in company coal usage, the railroad went back into use, this time transporting coal from western states into central Illinois. After railroad deregulation in the 1980s, Commonwealth Edison sold the railroad in late 1987. The railroad was sold several more times.

The finding aid for the Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway Company (Springfield, IL) Records, 1889-1956 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be found at

Photographs in this collection include images of railroad employees at work, railroad operations, railroad engines and cars, and railroad accidents.

Collection Items

Railroad Accident
A wrecked passenger train sits on a track after it ran through an open switch. On verso: "Pawnee mine #5, passenger train #2."

Passenger Train
A man and four women pose for a group photo in front of a train. Photo caption: "The gentleman pictured here appears to be well pleased with himself, although there seems to be some variation in moods among his lady friends. The date is about 1915 at…

Passenger Train Crew
Photo caption: "This view shows the passenger crew on the Midland at Kincaid in the middle 1920's. It is interesting to note that the style of uniform worn by the conductor and flagman would remain virtually unchanged in the railroad industry for…

Railroad Accident
Several people stand around a derailed passenger train near Taylorville. Photo caption: "A minor mishap appears to have overtaken the 21 near Taylorville on May 30, 1916. A 'shoofly' track has been built around the derailment and the passenger train…

Train Engine on Side
A railroad engine lies on its side after derailing in Springfield. Photo caption: "One of Springfield's most spectacular train wrecks occurred in May 1950 when the 700 stubbed its toe at Ridgely tower, the GM&O crossing. Working a train of…

Passenger Train
A train stands under two large structures in Forest City prior to its dismantling.

Railroad Crew
Photo caption: "Busy tho they may be, railroad men can usually spare a minute for the company photographer. This July 1935 view of the Springfield shop forces displays the workday apparel of the era."

Passenger Train 6
Photo caption: "Just a few days before the end of passenger service, train 6 ambles over the Pecan Run trestle just north of Oakford. cr Paul H. Stringham"

Freight Train
A landscape view shows a freight train leaving Quiver Yard in Havana.

Sangamon River Trestle
Photo caption: "Crews worked around the clock to replace the Sangamon River trestle between Oakford and Kilbourne. Accumulated brush and logs had ignited the day before, burning up the old trestle. It was a rare occasion to se the 4-4-0's on anything…

Diesel Engine
A crane lifts a large diesel engine from the 54 train for repair.Photo caption: "Easy does it! When a rebuilt prime mover was necessary for diesel 54, the wrecker X32 was utilized for the job. The date is June 17, 1963 and within a matter of days,…

Automobile Transport
Two employees pose for a photo showing several automobiles handled by the railroad company.Photo caption: "Midland formerly handled a good deal of merchandise traffic, including automobiles. The tri-level auto rack had yet to be discovered, so the…

Freight Boat
Photo caption: "A historic day for the C&M - July 1, 1933; the first boat is loaded at Havana. Had this idea not evolved and been successful, the C&IM would likely not exist today. The early coal boats were self-propelled, rather than barges…

Final Passenger Run
Photo caption: "Here prior to the final passenger run, C&IM president (Fred) Schrader poses with the engineer and conductor, and F. B. Eckard (2nd from left). Eckard had just come off duty as Night Chief Dispatcher. He had one of the most…

A railroad conductor helps a family exit a passenger train upon arriving at their destination.

Havana Coal Dumping Facility Management
Photo caption: "Those responsible for the Havana coal dumping facility strike a rather unconcerned pose at Havana on July 1, 1933, the first day of operation for the plant. From left: R. W. Putnam, W. C. Hurst, Leathem D. Smith, John Gilchrist,…

Petersburg Depot
A Springfield Transportation Company bus waits outside the Petersburg depot as a passenger train sits on tracks.

Springfield Engine Terminal
Photo caption: "C&IM's first road diesel, the 50, gets a refill of the sand hatch at the Springfield engine terminal. Sand is an important commodity to the C&IM; without it, tonnage ratings over Petersburg hill would be greatly reduced."

Final Passenger Run
Photo caption: "The larger-than-usual crowd at Kilbourne is occasioned by the final passenger train on May 8, 1953. A few have come to watch and ride, but the gentlemen to the right of the truck appears ready to leave, his Brownie clutched in hand."

New Salem State Park Ceremony
Carl Sandburg plays the guitar and speaks into a microphone at a New Salem State Park event. Photo caption: "C&IM president Fred Schrader was not only an active and busy railroad executive, but also a prominent civic leader. In 1949, a ceremony…

Photo caption: "Switchman lines the track for the yard engine to head into its "house" at Powerton."

Railroad Maintenance
Railroad employees perform maintenance on a section of the Chicago & Illinois Midland Railway railroad tracks. Photo caption: "Midland has always believed that money invested in track maintenance is money well spent. Here a modern machine…

Trackside Signals
A railroad employee performs maintenance on a trackside signal. Photo caption: "C&IM utilizes the 'target' type of trackside signals, such as that pictured here. The single light remains illuminated, while the indication is changed by remotely…

Peoria Union Depot
Photo caption: "The nearly empty halls and waiting rooms reflect the state of rail passenger business in 1949, the date of this photo. Shown is the interior of the huge Peoria Union Depot. Countless passengers boarded or detrained the C&IM,…

Oakford Depot
A crowd waits for the train outside the depot at Oakford. Photo caption: "This was the 'second' Oakford depot, formerly the Atterbury depot. It was moved to Oakford on a flat car after the original Oakford depot was destroyed by fire in 1907. It…
View all 26 items

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