The Illinois Division of the Santa Fe Railway provides an informative and lively account of the story of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Illinois, from the charter of predecessor railroad Chicago & Plainfield in 1859 through merger with Burlington Northern in 1995.
Although the Illinois Division ultimately stretched to Kansas and Oklahoma, the geographic scope of this book is confined to the Illinois Division as it existed for over half a century: from the bumping post at Dearborn Station to Fort Madison, Iowa. Chapters on the Pekin branch and the Toledo, Peoria & Western - which for a brief time in the U.S.S.R. became part of Santa Fe's lines in Illinois, are also included.
Author James A. Brown's narrative places the Santa Fe in Illinois in its historical and geographic contexts. For the first time the full story of the route selection and construction of the airline to Chicago is told. The shuffling of passenger consists at Dearborn, transfer and local jobs out of Corwith and Joliet, the demise of the doodlebug and other passenger service, freight train operations and the shift of the Kansas City - Chicago mainline to a high speed inter-modal corridor are all revealed in great detail.
The book also contains insiders' accounts of the transformation of Willow Springs into one of the nation's largest inter-modal facilities. Indeed, lengthy first-hand accounts of railways employees fill the book. These stories are the fruit of interviews with 30 former Santa Fe employees - conductors, engineers, road-masters, station agents, and senior management - whom the author interviewed for this book. Stories of how those employees came to the railroad and their career progression are included in a solid oral history chapter, "Hiring Out." at the end of the book. The interviews, plus author Brown's meticulous research, provide information on the Santa Fe that is simply unavailable elsewhere.
The Illinois Division of the Santa Fe Railway is also lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photographs dating from the 1880s through the end of the 20th century.
Preface, Acknowledgements, Introduction, pp. 4-15,
Santa Fe Comes to Chicago: 1859-1895, pp. 16-64,
A Century of Santa Fe in Illinois: 1896-1995, pp. 65-118,
Passenger Trains Notes, pp. 119-142,
Freight Trains - By the Numbers, pp. 143-166,
Dearborn to 21st St., pp. 157-200,
Corwith and Environs, pp. 201-224,
The Industrial Corridor: McCook to Joliet, pp. 225-256,
Joliet to Milepost 51, pp. 257-276,
Small Towns on the First District, pp. 277-298,
The Streator Connection, pp. 299-326,
The Pekin District, pp. 327-346,
Chillicothe and the Edelstein Hill, pp. 347-368,
The Second District, pp. 369-392,
Fort Madison, pp. 393-410,
The Peoria District, pp. 411-416,
Hiring Out, pp. 417-445,
Notes, pp. 446-454,
List of Abbreviations, pp. 455-459,
Water, Fuel, Turntable and Wye Facilities, pg. 460,
Index, pp. 461-464.
Santa Fe Railway H&MS, hardcover with jacket, 464 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1.5 in., library bound, 246 B&W and 157 Color photographs, 44 maps, notes, bibliography, appendix, and index.