Sunday, December 7, 2008

Illinois Terminal Photo Album

The elevated line in St. Louis, August '95.

Note: All photos from the Krambles-Peterson Archive are copyright
and may not be reproduced without permission!

Most of the rest are mine unless otherwise noted.

Bement to Urbana (Nov. 2008)

The substation at Bement is being used by the highway department, I guess. The main line made a 90-degree bend around this building. See this picture from Don Ross.

Not much is left of the IT trestle over Camp Creek, just south of the MRM site. One could still walk across it back about 1975.

The Bondville substation is in good condition.


This is the old IC/Wabash station in Urbana, which was also used by the IT when passenger service was routed onto the bypass. The IT ran along the other side of the depot, where the brick warehouse is now located. The depot is used by a theater group, which explains the plywood stacked against it.

This bridge in Urbana was part of the IT's freight bypass around Champaign-Urbana. The rest of the line is pretty much obliterated.

This was the Railway Engineering lab at one time; it had a track entrance through this door for a spur off the old IT main line, which ran through the foreground. The University's interurban test car was stored here. It's long been used as an aeronautics lab. The overhead crane is still inside.

The Transportation building next door is decorated with these snazzy flanged wheels and wings.

A couple of waiting shelters still in existence: 1) for the University. At one time a car line ran right across the Quad.

2) For the old County Home east of downtown Urbana.

One of the earliest ancestors of the ITS system was the horsecar line between Urbana and Champaign. The only remaining part of this little system is this bridge over the Boneyard. I believe this part of the route was abandoned when the line was electrified, so the bridge's survival is amazing. It was in somebody's back yard for many years.

It's been refurbished and is now part of a city park. The layout of the park completely changed the landscape. The creek doesn't actually run under the bridge anymore, and the fill over it has been removed. But it's nicely preserved.


Two recent photos by Tim Fennell.

2007 pictures by Jim Vaitkunas.

(L) This is a diamond in the rough.


Pictures taken in 2007 by Jim Vaitkunas.

The substation at Danvers is now in use as a private residence.


The abutments for the IT's famous bridge over beautiful Lake Decatur are still standing. June 2009.

The Decatur station along the freight bypass route is now in use as a church.


Harristown is the next town west of Decatur. Here is the substation, now being used as a furniture store, with the body of car 535 behind it, used as a residence. May 8, 1998.

It doesn't look that much different today, I believe.


Here are several pictures of the IT main station in Springfield.  These were all taken by Tom Hunter in April/May 2013, shortly before the building was demolished.


This substation is now in use by a gardening supply store. Notice (R) that the rails are still in the street, for a couple of blocks through town.

For an in-service picture at this same location, see the top photo here!


Pictures taken in 2007 by Jim Vaitkunas.


Pictures taken in 2007 by Jim Vaitkunas.

Where'd all those trees come from? They sure weren't there when this famous substation was in service!

The Mackinaw sub is used by several businesses and is well maintained.

Pictures taken in 2012 by
Chuck Amstein.


Just to keep everyone confused, there are (at least) three Unions in Illinois. This is the one in Logan County along the IT. It's about 170 miles south of IRM's Union in McHenry County.

The Union sub is abandoned and derelict.

Pictures taken in 2012 by
Chuck Amstein.

(East to west)


Here is the Minooka substation,which is still in use by a machinery company (and possibly as a residence?) It's located on Wapella Street. I now regret not taking pictures of the Wapella substation before it was demolished four or five years ago. (Wapella is between Decatur and Bloomington.)

Bridge abutments for a small creek just west of Minooka.


The Morris sub is partly a pizza place, and partly empty, it appears. Tenants come and go. Adaptive reuse is the only thing that keeps these buildings from being razed. The two buildings are nearly identical except for the revolting paint.

A few blocks west of the substation is this bridge over another creek, with a park path over it.


This is the hydroelectric plant at Marseilles. (L) The south (river) side; (R) the north side.

Details of the north side. The trestle in front of the plant appears to still have rails on it, but there's no way to get closer. The area is fenced off and dangerous.

Canal Bridge at Ottawa (Sept. 1980)

The Illinois and Michigan Canal crossed the Fox River at Ottawa on this bridge. When the canal stopped operating, the IT's Illinois Valley Division relocated onto the old towpath.

Here's where the track ran. The trolley wire supports are still in place. A bicycle/hiking path has been built here, but otherwise the bridge is largely unchanged since 1980.

So let's imagine piloting the 415 on this route!

This is the canal part of the bridge. They say it's the largest bridge of its type in the world.


This building at one time housed the CO&P ticket office on the ground floor and company offices on the second floor. The ground floor, at least, has been heavily remodeled.


The battery sub at Utica, which of course hasn't moved but is now in somebody's back yard.

This must really impress any guests -- who else has something like this in their yard?

Car 101

At Fehling Road in Granite City, Nov. 13, 1949. Photo by George Krambles, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

At Wood River, Oct. 11, 1952. Photo by William C. Janssen, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Car 234

Let's take a tour of the IT business car 234. This is the only surviving product of the Danville Car Company, and one of only a few interurban observation cars preserved. Let's start at the rear and work our way forward.

Here's the rear platform. President Taft stood here while campaigning for reelection in 1912.

Through the open door, we enter the main compartment. There are parlor car chairs for about ten people, plus tables for drinks and snacks.

Notice the rods in the ceiling, so curtains could be hung to provide additional sleeping space in emergencies.

Further forward, there are sections that can be set up either for sitting or sleeping. However, unlike Pullman sections, the upper berth is created by folding up the seat backs, which are hinged at the top, and installing a steel rod to hold them horizontal, as seen here.

Let's look into the tiny kitchen compartment, just big enough for one man. So it's hard to get good pictures. On the left is the sink and metal countertop, with the ice box above it. On the right is the coal-fired stove.

Here's the rear platform, one side of which has the hot-water heater compartment. Watch your step as you exit via the front stairwell.

Car 241

This was the earliest piece of IT equipment selected for historic preservation, I believe, and one of the earlier interurban cars preserved. It is now stored under cover at MOT near St. Louis.

Photos 7/11/09 by Frank.

Car 277

This is a standard IT combine, built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1913, preserved at IRM, the only one of its kind.

E. Peoria c. 1952, photo by William C. Janssen, Krambles-Peterson Archive. Note the ex-C&LE freight trailer the 277 is towing.

At Danville, Apr. 20, 1952. Photo by Henry M. Stange. Krambles-Peterson Archive.

At E. Peoria, Aug. 22, 1952. Photo by George Krambles, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Meeting the 276 at Chatham, Oct. 12, 1952. Photo by William C. Janssen, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

At North Chicago, Sept. 1956. Photo by Glenn Andersen. Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Here we see it in operation in September 2008.

Let's take a look inside the cab. One at a time, please, there's not much room here. First we see the controller and brake stand, as well as the hand brake on the right.

The supplemental reservoir for the M-22A brake valve is located inside the cab over the motorman.

And here's one of my favorite features on the 277: the reverse lever (red arrow). What do you do if the air brake system fails? Reverse the motors by throwing the reverser. On multiple unit (MU) cars, the reverser is located under the car and is thrown electrically. But what happens if you have also lost DC power, such as if the pole has dewired? On the North Shore or CA&E cars, you'd be out of luck. So the IT installed a home-made mechanical linkage to the reverser. The motorman could pull back on this lever and throw the reverser in an emergency.

Now let's look at some of the interior. Here's the water heater compartment. The coal scoop is on the door, and at the lower left is the steel box which still holds IT company coal. To the right is the Peter Smith hot water heater.

At the rear of the main compartment, the last seat has a desk for the conductor to do his paperwork on. There are four slots, but they're not labeled, so I don't know exactly what they're for.

It would be nice to have some cold water. Ah, here's the spigot. But what's behind that door above it?

That's strange, it's just another door. It says "ICE HERE".

It folds out and down, instead of to the side, and look, it's an official "Ice Door" made by the H G Co., whoever they were.

Then here we have the thermostat , first aid box, and controls for the car's primitive air conditioning system, c. 1940.

Inside the washroom compartment, on the right we see the back of the ice box we looked at earlier. (On top of it is a loose piece of wood, not part of the system.)

And finally, here's some sage advice from Illinois Terminal. The town you flush in might be your own!

Car 415

On the viaduct at St. Louis, Dec. 22, 1956. Photo by Bob Mehlenbeck, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Car 518

See the detailed car history here. This is the interior as of Oct. 2008.

Most of the interesting features on this car are at the front end (which would usually have been the rear end on the IT.) Here's the wreck tool box over the vestibule door.

This is the Peter Smith water heater. Originally there was a wooden partition between the heater and the seat; this seems to have been removed when the car was in use as a classroom. We have the original drawing, and I plan to build a new one when I get a chance.

The stained glass window in the toilet compartment is still there, although covered over by the exterior sheet metal. You can barely see it in this photo.

It's difficult to take a picture of such a small room. It's in good condition, and used for storing spare items such as an oil can.

Locomotive 1565

Victor gave me a copy of this hand-colored postcard of the brand-new 1565 pulling a freight train back in ITS days.

At Forsyth c. 1953, photo by William E. Robertson, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Locomotive 1575

Preserved at MOT in St. Louis. Photo 7/11/09 by Frank.

Line Car 1702

Don't be embarrassed if you don't know what a line car is. Back in 1960, when this car was acquired for the Museum, it was to be sent on its own wheels over the railroads to North Chicago. But nobody on the major lines such as IC or C&NW had any idea what a "line car" was or what it might look like. So it got lost, being shuffled from yard to yard as the various yardmasters wondered "What in the world is this thing?!?" So Bob Bruneau got on the phone and started calling around. Finally he got the reply, "Well, we've got this thing that looks like a house on one end and a porch of some sort..." "THAT'S IT!!!" he shouted. "It's supposed to go to North Chicago!"

Photos from the IRM Collection.

Answer to the riddle: This car is equipped with everything needed for working on the overhead lines, such as a movable platform on the roof, ladders, wire reels, and tools of all sorts, hence "line car."

Rail Bus

This, of course, is the Illinois Terminal's little rail bus #206, which provided service to Grafton. It's now on display at MOT near St. Louis. Photo by David Wilkins, taken in January 2005 right after completion of a cosmetic restoration. It was then placed under cover, where it is now on display.


All of the documents displayed here come from the Robert E. Bruneau Illinois Terminal Collection unless otherwise noted.

The Illinois Terminal hopefully started showing off its new streamliners in the fall of 1948. There was a brief epidemic of optimism about passenger service among many railroads immediately after the war, but the IT was the only interurban line to be infected.

Advertising flyers, about 6 x 10.

Oops, there must be something wrong with these new trains....

A couple of 5 1/2 x 7 calendar cards.


Kirk Warner said...

Is it safe to leave coal in the wter heater? Will the aicdic action of moisture and the coal not rust out the storage area?

Randall Hicks said...

I don't know whether there is coal still in the water heater, I'll have to check. The storage box appears to be OK. I'm pretty sure the water system has been drained. This system is unfamiliar to me, as there was nothing like this on the CA&E!

Unknown said...

That would be great to get the 415 across that bridge again, Frank!

Although your photo shows how the interurban once past over that towpath bridge, I have never seen a photo of an actual car going across it. Or for that matter, even a photo showing just the rails! I find that somewhat hard to believe given the feat it must of been.

Then equally hard to believe is the fact that no photo seems to exist of them going across the Illinois River, either. And I've been looking!

Best wishes,


JJ said...

Hi in the IV/CO&P section the bridge abutment at Peru are the CB&Q, not the valleys, They came across bt the aqua duck next the R.I. under the I.C. and up into city running.

Jim Johnson Moderator CO&P yahoo group.

Nice section you have here! come check out our group!

Bruce Duensing said...

In regard to the IT sub in someone's backyard Utica, if my memory serves me well, there is a former CNS&M sub also in a backyard, or it was, a few years ago. I think if my memory hasn't failed it's just south of the crossing at Five Mile Road. For what it's worth.

Adam said...

The Urbana depot you show is actually the former Peoria & Eastern station. The Wabash depot used by the IT was a wood frame structure just to the southeast of the P&E depot on the other side of Broadway. It is no longer standing. There is a picture of both stations on page 15 of the second Morning Sun IT book.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Randy and all.

The CO&P crossed the Fox River at Ottawa on the I&M Viaduct as you described. However, the canal had NOT shut down. In fact the CO&P actually survived the I&M Canal by only a few months.

By 1904, when the CO&P crossed the Ottawa Viaduct, most canal traffic had switched from mule tow to internal power, mostly steam with some gasoline internal combustion mixed in. The CO&P was also used to "street running." So the post-1904 towpath section of the viaduct was likely timbered to allow safe passage of "foot and hoof" traffic as well as interurban train cars.

The ITS, by this time owners of the CO&P, abandoned the section over the Fox at Ottawa along with the rest of the CO&P in 1934. They retained ownership of the Marseilles and Dayton Hydrolectric Power Plants until the ITS/IP breakup.

Though some sources cite a decline to near-zero commercial traffic as early is 1914 in the Ottawa I&M area due to non-maintenance by the State of Illinois, the canal wasn't actually "closed" until the completion of the Marseilles Lock and Dam Control Structures in 1933.

This area was NOT easily photographed during the years when the CO&P was in operation. However, there MAY be some pictures somewhere.

Seneca, Illinois also had a substation/passenger station of the same design as Minooka and Morris. This was torn down sometime in the 1970s.

Thanks for posting the many great pictures.

Brian J. Patterson.

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Brian, that's quite interesting. We're always glad to have more and better information. That bridge has always been a favorite of mine, and I'd like to imagine running the 415 alongside an operating canal.

In fact, we could start digging our own canal, fed by the Kishwaukee. There must be some I&M canal fans out there....

Unknown said...

I have some photos of the Springfield Station just before it was torn down - would you like me to send them? - Tom Hunter

Randall Hicks said...

Certainly, Tom. Thanks!

Mike Osuchowski said...

The photo of ITC 101 is actually just before the intersection of Madison Ave. and Nameoki Road where the double tracks on Madison Ave. merged into one track and turned north running up Nameoki Rd to Nameoki Village, Mitchell and eventually Alton. The Granite City Senior High School would be to the left and the two story white building seen in the left background would be the original Rose Bowl restaurant. Fehling Road would be about 1/2 mile north of this location.
Mike Osuchowski

Jason Learakos said...

The substation you mentioned at Five Mile Road is actually at Four Mile Road. It is also south of the crossing.