Illinois Midland Railway

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The Illinois Midland Railway began in 1914. It was located 50 miles southwest of Chicago, where it connected two small towns surrounded by farmland barely two miles apart: Newark and Millington. Originally, plans called for a 120-mile railroad to be built across northern Illinois, connecting the cities of Rockford and Kankakee and bypassing congested Chicagoland rail traffic. A turbulent financial start resulted in just 1.962 miles of rickety track that meandered through forests, pastures, and across a creek. Townspeople there rescued the struggling railroad then ran it successfully under the tutelage of the Newark Farmers Grain Elevator Company, getting into record books along the way as “The World’s Shortest Railroad.” The end came in 1967, when vandals burned a couple of the railroad’s bridges. The Midland ceased operations, and the rails were removed, but again townspeople in Newark and Millington came to the rescue, each establishing museums to keep the memory of their Midland alive today.
ISBN: 9781467107754
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Illinois
Series: Images of Rail
Images: 154
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Jeff Kehoe is a retired history teacher and active member in several railroad historical societies. Growing up in a Chicagoland railroad family, he has written stories for numerous publications. As a lifetime member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association, he has written four books for that organization. This is his first book for Arcadia Publishing. The photographs and maps are courtesy of various sources, including the Fern Dell Museum in Newark, Millington Illinois Historical Museum, and the author’s own collection.
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