Collection provided by the Illinois State Library.
As a crossroads state, as well as incorporating the city of Chicago, a terminus of industry going back to the 19th century, Illinois was a crucial link in the railroad industry. Both passengers & freight were moved in great numbers throughout our territory. One of the most valuable collections held by the Illinois State Library is a collection of railroad maps showing the development of the state's rail system starting in 1854 and up through the present day. At one time many companies crisscrossed the state, but as time passed lines gradually merged as numerous went out of business, their track bought up by the remaining entities until only a few remained. These maps will show what companies existed when and where their track went. Also electric rail passenger lines, i.e. interurban railroads, will be shown on these maps as well. One can still find traces of their tracks, but the maps will show the entirety of these long gone modes of public transportation.
The web version of the images is JPEG2000. Upon request, the State Library map staff can send a TIFF version or can make a full-scale color paper copy.