Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Flora to Shawneetown
Courtesy of B & O Railroad Museum
The Baltimore and Ohio railroad had a sub-division in southeastern Illinois that consisted of 74 miles of track from Flora to the Ohio river at Shawneetown.
The existence of 16 depots has been confirmed along the B & O railroad from Flora to Shawneetown. New Shawneetown and Flora depot buildings are still standing. The Flora Depot is a museum. Ninety-eight bridge structures were built from Flora to Shawneetown. The B & O Railroad was built on top of the Old Shawneetown levee during the late 1800s.
B & O History
Springfield & Illinois Southeastern chartered to build a railroad to connect the Illinois River at Beardstown with the Ohio River at Shawneetown. The last rail between Edgewood and Shawneetown was installed on December 15, 1870 connecting Chicago and Shawneetown. The grade from Beardstown to Springfield had also been completed during that year. One thousand tons of iron for the segment was delivered on November 12, 1870.
The Columbus Car and Works supplied the Springfield & Illinois Southeastern with equipment for their rail operations.
Ohio and Mississippi Railway Company acquired the Springfield and Illinois South Eastern Railway.
Ohio & Mississippi consolidated with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
B & O merges Ohio & Mississippi into B & O Southwestern Railroad.
11 Mar 1949
B & O discontinued passenger trains 42 and 43 between Flora and Shawneetown.
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway acquired controlling interest in the B & O.
C & O and B &O realigned into joint control.
The B & O files with Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon operations of its Flora to Shawneetown branch.
Chessie System Inc. acquired C & O.
Prairie Trunk Railway sought permission to acquire and operate the 73.27-mile Flora-Shawneetown line of railroad.
February 17, 1977
Prairie Trunk acquisition of the Flora-Shawneetown line approved and B & O application to abandon the railway dismissed by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
July 27, 1977
Interstate Commerce Commission denied petitions for reconsideration of its previous decision dismissing B & O's abandonment application and approving the acquisition of the line by Prairie Trunk.
July 25, 1985
Prairie Trunk Railway filed a Chapter 11 petition and abandoned operations of the Flora to Shawneetown railroad concurrent with the filing.
The Court entered an Order authorizing the sale of the Prairie Trunk Railway real estate and tangible personal property to Butler/Binion Group, Ltd for the sum of $4,150,000.00. The rails and associated equipment were ripped from the land, leaving very little trace of a resource that had been an integral part of rural southeastern Illinois for over a hundred years.
Mt. Vernon Register-News (Mt Vernon, Illinois) 11 Mar 1949, Fri • Page 1
1870 Railroad Gazette