John Speller's Web Pages Monon Railroad

John Speller's Web Pages - US Railroads
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The Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad had twin main lines a 200-mile line from Chicago to Indianapolis and a 300-mile line from Michigan City to Louisville. These lines crossed and were centered on Monon, Indiana, and the line became widely and semi-officially known as the Monon Railroad. It was also popularly nicknamed "The Hoosier Line" through its association with the State of Indiana. Additional services from Indianapolis to Louisville and from Chicago to Cincinnati were provided in conjunction with neighboring railroads. There were also a couple of branches, including a noteworthy one to the tourist destination of French Lick Springs.

The New Albany & Salem Railroad from Michigan City, Indiana, on Lake Michigan, to New Albany, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, opened in 1853. The company reorganized as the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad in 1859, but it was not until 1881 that it obtained its line to Chicago when it merged with the Chicago and Indianapolis Air-Line Railroad. The company reorganized again as the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad in 1897.

Although strategically well placed, the Monon was never a very successful railroad. Passenger service between Chicago and Indianapolis ceased in 1959, followed by the cessation of the Michigan City to Louisville passenger service in 1967. The Monon Railway was absorbed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (now part of CSX Transportation) in 1971.
System Map of the Monon Railroad in 1903
The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway depot in Gosport, Indiana, circa 1870
The massive French Lick Springs Hotel, which merited an entire branchline of the Monon Railroad to serve it, and generated a vast tourist traffic. It is now largely a gambling casino <sniff>
Monon Railroad 4-6-0 No. 80 at Chicago in around 1910
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