Encyclopedia ofChicago
MAPS : MAPS CREATED BY ENCYCLOPEDIA STAFF
MAPS : MAPS CREATED BY ENCYCLOPEDIA STAFF
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Chicago's Railroad Pattern in 1950

 

 

 

Chicago's Railroad Pattern in 1950

Chicago in 1950 was at the height of its power as the railroad center of the United States. Fully 37 long-distance railroad lines, operated by 21 independent railroad companies, fanned out from Chicago in all landward directions, connecting with all corners of the nation and the settled portions of Canada. This was the "pay-off" for the efforts of the city's business leaders a century before to ensure that practically all trunk railroads passing through northeastern Illinois terminated in the city of Chicago. One local corporation, the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, was later formed to create a huge belt line that circumnavigated the metropolitan area, handling traffic between locations on the periphery and diverting some through traffic around the congestion of the urban center. Shown but not individually identified are numerous short lines within the urban area built to exchange freight between the trunk railroads and to service metropolitan industry.