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Illinois Central Railroad

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1856
Location: Illinoismap
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Illinois Central Railroad

The Illinois Central Railroad (reporting mark IC), sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, was a Class I railroad that operated in the central United States from the 1850s until 1998, when it was acquired by the Canadian National Railroad. Its primary routes connected Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama.

The Illinois Central Railroad was incorporated by the Illinois state legislature in 1836. That same year, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to authorize a federal land grant to connect a railroad from the southern tip of Illinois at the mouth of the Ohio River to Chicago and Galena. The land grant was not approved until 1850, when the Illinois Central became the first land grant railroad in the United States.

Construction of the line from Cairo, Illinois, to Chicago and Galena was completed in 1856, and a branch line was built from Chicago to Centralia, Illinois. The Illinois Central extended its track into Iowa in 1867, and it expaned into the southern United States during the 1870s and 1880s through the acquisition and and construction of additional lines.

Illinois Central passenger trains were one means of transportation for African Americans migrating from southern to northern states during the 1920s.

Illinois Central Railroad Employees

Sources

Also see Category:Railroad_Workers





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