decks "Illinois Traction System"
edition 1925, 52+1J+2ec
4. WWPCM10608/04: deck
"Illinois Terminal R. R.
System", 1929 (sA: L1961)
HISTORY OF THE
ILLINOIS TERMINAL RAILROAD
Illinois Terminal Railroad was a railroad carrier in Illinois, United States. It
operated from 1928 to 1982.
a successor in interest to a series of interurban railroads that were
consolidated in the early 1900s by businessman William B. McKinley into the
Illinois Traction System (ITS), an affiliate of the Illinois Power and Light
Company. The Illinois Traction System, at its height, provided electric
passenger rail service to 550 miles (900 km) of tracks in central and southern
Illinois. The system's Y-shaped main line stretched from St. Louis to
Springfield, Illinois, with branches onward from Springfield northwest to Peoria
and eastward to Danville. A series of affiliated street-level city trolley lines
provided local passenger service in many of the cities served by the main line.
The longest-lived segment of the line descended from an Edwardsville-Alton
interurban line bought by the Illinois Traction System in 1928.
the Great Depression, the Illinois Traction System staggered. The ITS
relinquished many of its city street trolleys in the 1930s, and was forced to
cut its ties with an affiliated firm that provided electrical utility services.
The passenger railroad reorganized in 1937 as the Illinois Terminal Railroad
(ITR) and continued to provide electric-powered, long-distance passenger service
through downstate Illinois for almost another two decades. In the 1950s,
however, with the final dominance of the automobile, the ITR's passenger service
became hopelessly unprofitable. In March 1956 the Illinois Terminal Railroad
ended its passenger service; the remains of the railroad was acquired in June
1956 by nine Class I railroads, which collectively continued to operate the
railroad as a diesel-powered short line to carry freight in the Metro-East area.
The reorganized Illinois Terminal Railroad took down its power lines and
abandoned much of its trackage. For the following 25 years (1956-1981) the ITR
continued to operate diesel-powered trackage north and east of St. Louis,
shunting freight cars between the main lines of the freight railroads that owned
Norfolk and Western Railroad purchased its partners' interests in the Illinois
Terminal Railroad on September 1, 1981, and officially merged the ITR into the
N&W on May 8, 1982.Illinois Terminal
1605, a GP7 preserved in operating condition at Illinois Railway Museum.The
McKinley Bridge across the Mississippi River, originally built in 1910 to carry
the Illinois Traction System's trolley cars over the river to St. Louis,
survives to this day. Some sections of the Illinois Terminal Railroad and its
affiliated lines have become rail-trails, such as the Interurban Trail south of
Illinois Traction System's generating plants also sold electricity to customers
in many towns and cities serviced by the electric railroad. In the 1930s, the
railroad and the electrical utility separated from each other; the
formerly-affiliated electrical utility was spun off from the system to form the
Illinois Power and Light Company. Illinois Power provided electrical service to
much of central and southern Illinois before its acquisition by Ameren and
consolidation into the parent firm in 2004.