Known mainly as a shortline coal-hauler between Peoria, Springfield, and Taylorville, Ill., the C&IM nonetheless sported some passenger trains. Here at Union Depot on Dec. 3, 1954, C&IM 2-8-2 No. 550 heads up a Transportation Club Extra comprising a C&IM coach and business car and a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio business car. At this time, the C&IM fielded a regularly scheduled passenger run as well, between Peoria and Springfield, but it had been truncated to Pekin. Monty Powell photo, Lou Marre Collection
Passenger Trains of Peoria: Part 1
By David P. Jordan
Peoria, Ill., never ranked among the nation’s big cities, yet from 1854 to 1907 it attracted railroads comparable in number to Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Omaha-Council Bluffs. Peoria could even claim a preponderance of depots and a complexity of routes like its larger contemporaries.
Much has been written of Peoria’s rail history thanks to the presence of colorful small carriers like the Chicago & Illinois Midland; Illinois Terminal; Peoria & Pekin Union; and Toledo, Peoria & Western. But with the passage of time, certain aspects of the city’s early passenger train and station history may have been forgotten.
Read the rest of this article in the 2015-3 issue of Passenger Train Journal!