The Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad was a short line running 16 miles from downtown Chicago to Dolton, Illinois, the first suburb south of Chicago, with another line running southeast from Eighty-First Street to the Indiana state line. Built in the 1880s, it was owned by five trunk line railroads that used it as an efficient and inexpensive route into downtown Chicago. Like many 19th-century railroads, the C&WI reached its traffic peak in the middle of the 20th century. After World War II, passenger travel and shipping moved to airlines and over-the-road trucking. The need for rail access into downtown Chicago declined, and the C&WI ended its service in 1994.
About the Author
Authors Cynthia Ogorek and Bill Molony are both experienced writers of Chicago area and railroad history. Author of Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad, Ogorek first collaborated with Molony on a book about the railroads that served Matteson, Illinois. Molony, president of the Blackhawk chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, has also worked with Robert Sterling, PhD, on books about the Joliet area. The photographs they have chosen were found in historical societies throughout the south suburbs of Chicago.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Years of the Chicago & Western Indiana 11
2 Dearborn Station: 1885-1922 29
3 Chicago & Eastern Illinois and the Dolton Line 39
4 Other Owners, Tenants, and the Main Line 61
5 Streamline to Diesel on the Chicago & Western Indiana 83
6 The Final Run 109