The Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railway

Red text indicates information added: 03/30/2016


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In 1857, a charter was granted for a Grayville, IL to Mattoon railroad, the Grayville and Mattoon Railroad (G&M), and was incorporated in 1876. There was also an Indiana charter for an Indiana road (From Mount Vernon to Grayville (originally "McFadden's Landing", IN) under the name of Mt. Vernon and Grayville Railroad (MtV&G). Up to 1876 nothing was accomplished on these lines. 



On February 21st, the Pekin, Lincoln and Decatur Railroad (PL&D) was chartered, being "Vested with all the rights and privileges heretofore granted the Pekin, Canton and McComb Railroad (PC&M) and the Mississippi and Wabash Railroad (M&W)".  The first Board of Directors meeting was required to be held in Delavan Illinois within 30 days.



The PL&D is organized.



On March 10th, a charter was granted for the Danville, Olney and Ohio River Railroad (DOOR) as a narrow gauge line.


On March 13th, the Harrisburg and Great Northern Railroad (H&GN) chartered.


On March 26th, the Decatur, Sullivan and Mattoon Railroad (DS&M) was chartered to build a line between Hervey City and Mattoon.



In October, the PL&D put an 18 mile stretch between Pekin and Delavan was into operation.  This was with Colonel Robert B. Latham as President of the line.


In November, the DOOR buys and merges the H&GN.



By July 4th the PL&D had completed its line to Lincoln.


On October 9th, the PL&D reached North Jct (Decatur).

DS&M was incorporated.


Also around this time the PL&D was leased to the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway (TW&W).


By November, at least one-half a mile of grading had been completed north of Ste. Marie, the first work on the DOOR.

In March, the DS&M was consolidated with the G&M and the MtV&G forming the Chicago and Illinois Southern Railroad (C&IS)However, the people of Mattoon had issued bonds in the amount of $75,000 for the Mattoon-Grayville road, and had the combination of the three roads dissolved in 1876. 


The DS&M completed its line from Mattoon to Hervey City.


The Paris and Decatur Railroad (P&D) and the DS&M jointly built the line between Decatur Jct and Hervey City.  From at least 1877(probably from the beginning), this segment was jointly owned by both roads, but the Paris and Decatur road controlled the movement over the line.



In January, the C&IS went into receivership. 


The P&D operates the former DS&M from Hervey City to Mattoon.  Perhaps as early as 1873.



The P&D operation of the former DS&M is cut back to Dalton City.


The TW&W defaulted on bond interest, and the PL&D was sold to representatives of the bond holders, being reorganized as the Pekin, Lincoln and Decatur Railway (instead of Railroad).  Apparently the TW&W took with them all the locomotives, and the bond holders immediately bought 5 new locomotives.


The Mattoon to Grayville portion of the C&IS was sold to the construction contractors who had partially graded the roadbed.  In September, part of the line between Olney and Newton was laid.



In 1877, a portion of the G&M was built from Mattoon to Newton and Olney to Parkersburg.


The Decatur to Mattoon portion of the C&IS was sold under foreclosure and became the Decatur, Mattoon and Southern Railroad (DM&S).



The first DOOR locomotive, a Baldwin, arrived.


By April the DOOR was completed between Kansas and Westfield.


The Kansas to Westfield portion of the DOOR was put into service in June.

On March 1st, the PL&D leases the Peoria and Springfield Railroad (P&S) extending its line from Pekin to Peoria.

On September 1st, the PL&D terminated its lease of the P&S.


The PL&D then negotiates trackage rights to Peoria over the Peoria, Pekin and Jacksonville Railroad (PP&J).


The principle commodity carried by the PL&D at this time is corn.


The DM&S was put in the hands of trustees, but PL&D had acquired a controlling interest.


On November 17th, the PL&D and the DM&S were consolidated as the Peoria, Decatur and Evansville Railway (PD&E).  Note that the date of this consolidation seems to be different with each source.  This varies from 1879 to 1880.


On February 15th, the PD&E leases the G&M.


On March10th, 1880, a line in Indiana under the name of the Evansville and Peoria Railway (E&P) was chartered.

On July 2nd, 1880 the PD&E buys the G&M.


The PD&E purchased the G&M under foreclosure.  Some sources say November of 1879.


On April 20th, 1880, the first standard gauge locomotive arrives on the DOOR.


On August 23rd, The E&P was consolidated with the PD&E, after which the southern terminal was changed from Mount Vernon to Evansville.


On September 28th, the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway (P&PU) is incorporated.


On November 1st, the P&PU purchases the PP&J.



On February 1st, the P&PU begins operation of the former PP&J.


The PD&E was pushed from Parkersburg to Grayville by April, and then to Evansville by June 1st.

May 27th, 1881, a line in Indiana under the name of the New Harmony and Evansville Railway (NH&E) was chartered.


By July 16th, 1881, the DOOR had been standard gauged.


The people of New Harmony, IN voted to pay the PD&E, via the NH&E, to build a branch line from Stewartsville to their town.  This was put into service by December of 1881.



The DOOR completed it's line from Westfield to Olney.


The DOOR was changed to standard gauge.



On January 1st, the P&PU purchases the P&S.


The DOOR completed its line from Kansas to Sidell.


The DOOR went into the hands of a receiver.



The DOOR was foreclosed upon in February.


In May, the DOOR was reorganized as the Chicago and Ohio River Railroad (C&OR).


In April, the Evansville and Terre Haute Railroad (E&TH) gained control of the PD&E.  Daniel J. Mackey was elected President of the company and the general offices were moved to Evansville.



The C&OR was acquired by the PD&E, which renamed it its Chicago Division.


The duplicate line of the former C&OR between West Liberty and Olney was removed.



The PD&E was put into receivership on January 10th, 1894.



In December, the PD&E sold its Chicago Division, the line from West Liberty to Sidell, along with trackage rights from West Liberty to Olney to the Indianapolis, Decatur and Western Railway (ID&W).  The ID&W was a totally owned subsidiary of the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railway (CH&D).  Interestingly, once in Olney, the last few blocks (to Butler) were on its own rail on Camp Street.



On February 1st, the ID&W took possession and began operating the former Chicago Division of the PD&E.



On February 6th, the PD&E was put up for auction and the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) won the bid.

In the Summer the
PD&E was split into two distinct corporations; the Peoria, Decatur and Mattoon Railroad (PD&M) and the Mattoon and Evansville Railroad (M&E).


On August 1st, the IC took over operation of the M&E.


In September, the IC took over operation of the PD&M.



In July, the IC leased both the PD&M and the M&E.


In October, the IC took official ownership of the M&E.



The ID&W was consolidated with the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indianapolis Railroad (CH&I) forming the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railway (CI&W) which was a totally owned by the CH&D.



In April, the IC took official ownership of the PD&M.


The CH&D enters receivership on December 20th, 1905.



The CH&D comes out of receivership.



On July 2nd, the CH&D enters receivership again.


In 1914 a subway (trench) was completed through part of Mattoon for the IC's line to Chicago.  Interestingly, this duplicated physically what had been done on the corporate level in 1900.  This made it impossible to go straight through Mattoon on the old PD&E.



The CI&W is sold on October 13th (beginning operation on December 1st), with the name being changed from railway to railroad.


On December 1st, the Sidell and Olney Railroad (S&O) was formed separately, being wholly owned by the CI&W.



On April 15th, the S&O is auctioned off.


On April 18th the Westfield Railroad (WRR) was formed between Casey and Kansas.


Also in April, the Westfield Motor Railway Company (WMRC) is formed to operate the WRR which it began on June 2nd.



The WMRC was poorly run, and stopped operating the track of the WRR.


The Kansas and Sidell Railroad (K&S) was formed to take over the operation between those cities.


On June 19th, the Yale Short Line (YSL) was formed to operate between Yale and Casey.



The WRR didn't have much more success running its line than the WMRC had, and it folded in August.



On January 2nd, the owners of the K&S formed the Casey and Kansas Railroad (C&K) to operate the defunct WRR that they had acquired.



The K&S begins operating the YSL.



The YSL was leased by the K&S.



In July and August, the tracks of the C&K were removed.



In November, the YSL, which operated the portion of the line between Yale and Casey, was abandoned and the tracks taken up.


On December 6th, the C&K was formally dissolved.



March 15th, the passenger trains made their last run on the IC's former PD&E lines.



By March, even the mixed trains were taken off of the IC's former PD&E lines.



The Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) bough the line of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad (C&EI) from Evansville to Chicago.  Much of the traffic on the old PD&E from Evansville to Mattoon was L&N traffic bound for Chicago.  This dried up a significant portion of the traffic on this segment of the old PD&E, and would soon signal disaster for that part of the line.



IC merged with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad becoming the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (ICG).



By October 18th, the New Harmony branch was taken up.



In the early 1980's, ICG petitioned to abandon the segment from Mattoon to Evansville.  



Late in the year, the Lerna to Newton segment was pulled up, and the Mattoon to Lerna segment was sold to the grain elevator at Jones'.



In March, the segment from Browns to Evansville was sold to the Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation (IHRC).



On February 29th, the ICG changed its name to Illinois Central Railroad (IC).



On August 22, the Indiana Railroad (IRR) purchased the Newton to Browns segment and turned it over to IHRC to operate.



The IHRC declared bankruptcy.



Owensville Terminal Company (OTC) financed the Evansville Terminal Company (ETC) to purchase the line from Browns to Evansville from the trustee of the IHRC.


On May 3rd, IHRC received approval to abandon the line from Newton to Browns.


On September 12th, ETC embargoed rail service from Browns to Poseyville.



On August 1st, 1997, OTC takes over the Browns to Poseyville portion of the ETC with plans to abandon it.



On February 23rd, the Surface Transportation Board decided that OTC can remove the rails between Browns and Poseyville, but can not abandon it. 



Most of the line from Browns to Poseyville was sold for scrap.


On July 1st, the IC was merged into the Canadian National Railway (CN).



On April 1st, the Indiana Southwestern Railway Company (ISW), a Pioneer Railcorp operation, took over a portion of ETC's line from Harwood Yard to Poseyville.



In the Summer or Spring, the Newby to Lerna segment was torn up.

On November 1st, the P&PU was leased to the Geneso and Wyoming Railroad (G&W) for 20 years, becoming the Tazwell and Peoria Railroad (T&P).



On the night of January 12th/13th, one of the spans of the bridge over the Wabash River was washed away by record floods.


On September 9th, Surface Transportation Board gave the Browns, Grayville and Poseyville Railway (BG&P) permission to acquire OTC's line from Browns and Poseyville, relay the track, and operate it.  Nothing ever came of this however.

* Note: The abbreviations are mine and not necessarily official.  This information is compiled from numerous people and resources.





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