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Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad

officially owned Dearborn Station, The C&WI itself was owned jointly by the C&EI, Erie, Grand Trunk, Monon and Wabash, Although Santa Fe operated the greatest number of trains at the station, it was only a tenant.
Dearborn Station
Dearborn Station.
(Photo by author from a trip to Chicago a LOT of years ago)


Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad

The Chicago & Western Indiana officially owned Dearborn Station, The C&WI itself was owned jointly by the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Erie, Grand Trunk, Monon and Wabash.

Although Santa Fe operated the greatest number of trains at the station, it was only a tenant.

The railroad began in 1879 as an interconnect between other Chicago area railroads and belt lines.
In 1882 it added the South Chicago & West Indiana R.R. and the Chicago & Western Indiana Belt Railway.
In 1912, it acquired the Chicago Union Transfer Railway and also leased certain equipment and trackage rights was granted to the Belt Railway of Chicago.
In 1933 the company acquired the Burlington, South Chicago Terminal Railroad.
Dearborn Union Passenger Terminal was closed in 1971.
In 1983 the Belt Railway of Chicago acquired much of the C.& W.I.
The railroad ceased operations in 1994.
What remains of trackage is operated by Union Pacific, CSX, BNSF, Metra, Belt Railway and other short lines.

Commuter rail services also operated from the station: Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad - operated between Dearborn Station and Dolton, serving mostly local stops within Chicago's far south side. Discontinued in 1964

In 1993, Metra assumed direct operation of the Orland Park service from Norfolk Southern, employing the train crews and renaming it the South West Service. The trackage west of 74th Street would be leased from Norfolk Southern, although NS would continue to dispatch the line from Landers Yard. Metra had earlier acquired ownership and the dispatching functions of the former Chicago and Western Indiana trackage, between 21st St. and 74th St.

State Line Interlocking

In the early 1890’s, eight railroads were party to an at-grade crossing near the Illinois/Indiana State Line in Hammond, Indiana. The eight railroads, who collectively built the original State Line Crossing were Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad Company (purchased by IHB, no longer in existence); Chicago & State Line Railroad Company (NicklePlate now Norfolk Southern Corporation); the New York, Chicago, & St. Louis Company (NicklePlate now Norfolk Southern Corporation); the Chicago & Erie Railroad Company (abandoned after the creation of Conrail); the Louisville, New Albany, & Chicago Railway Company (tracks removed no longer in existence); the Chicago & Calumet Terminal Railway Company (now B&OCT (CSX)); the Michigan Central Railroad Company (purchased by IHB, tracks removed no longer in existence); and the

Railroads in 1901

The main line of this road extends from Chicago to Dolton, Ill. (17 miles), and affords terminal facilities for all lines entering the Polk St. Depot at Chicago. It has branches to Hammond, Ind. (10.28 miles); to Cragin (15.9 miles), and to South Chicago (5.41 miles); making the direct mileage of its branches 48.59 miles. In addition, its second, third and fourth tracks and sidings increase the mileage to 204.79 miles. The company was organized June 9, 1879; the road opened in 1880, and, on Jan. 26, 1882, consolidated with the South Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad Company, and the Chicago & Western Indiana Belt Railway. It also owns some 850 acres in fee in Chicago, including wharf property on the Chicago River, right of way, switch and transfer yards, depots, the Indiana grain elevator, etc. The elevator and the Belt Division are leased to the Belt Railway Company of Chicago, and the rest of the property is leased conjointly by the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, the Chicago & Grand Trunk, the Chicago & Erie, the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago, and the Wabash Railways of which owns $1,000,000 of the capital oak), and by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. These companies pay the expense of operation and maintenance on a mileage basis.


Until 1940, the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad bisected the airport into north and south sections. But the railroad was rerouted, and in 1941 the tracks were removed and the two sections united.

By Ken Kinlock at
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Chicago Rail Fair of 1948-1949. We have searched out tons of information available on this memorable event. Most of the railroads in the United States were represented, or exhibited. Union Pacific's Big Boy locomotive was one of the most popular exhibits. At this time, Chicago was the Rail Capital of the U.S.
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What's Left of the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad?

Chicago & Western Indiana 1900
Builder: Industrial Works
Year Built: 1906
Length: 29ft 10in
Width: 10ft
Height: 15ft
Weight: 119000 lbs
Brakes: AB
Trucks: Arch Bar
Description: 100 Ton Wrecker
Located at the Illinois Railway Museum
Some interesting railroad junctions
Some where Chicago & Western Indians.
Most now are Belt Railway of Chicago
This WebPage is maintained for historical articles only.
For an up-to-date listing of North American Commuter Rail and Transit Systems, please visit our TRANSIT WebPage
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In its heyday, State Line was one of the most complex interlockings in the United States. It was on the Indiana-Illinois border at the gateway to Chicago. Read more about the many railroads that crossed here.

Some great Dearborn Station and C&WI Locomotive Photographs

C&WI from the Wiki

C&WI Locomotive Roster

Arch Window Stillwells on the C&WI

Chicago & Eastern Illinois

Current Dearborn Station WebSite

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WIKIPEDIA contains several articles of interest to the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad historian or fan:
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List of Indiana railroads
Dearborn Station
Many of these articles have been developed by our staff researchers KC Jones and Penney Vanderbilt.
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Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad

Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad

Harrison Street to 22nd Street

Track Map Dearborn Station including AT&SF (Santa Fe) facilities.
1953, revised to 1965?

Click to enlarge has provided a 1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading.
Here's some interesting questions and answers:

What is meant by demurrage?

A consignor or consignee is usually allowed two days' free time in which to load or unload a carload of freight. Thereafter a demurrage charge is made by the railroad for each 24 hours the car is held. On the fifth demurrage day the charge is substantially increased.

What is meant by "per diem"?

"Per diem" is a Latin phrase meaning "by the day." It is used by the railroads to designate the amount per day which is paid by one railroad to another railroad for the use of a freight car. The present per diem rate is $1.00, with certain penalties for tardy reporting. Payments for the use of cars owned by private car companies are generally on a mileage rate basis instead of a per diem basis, the mileage rate varying with the type of car.

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Head End

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