The Southern Railway in southern Illinois was a subset of the main line from New Albany, Indiana to East St. Louis, Illinois over 263 miles. It connected East St. Louis to Mount Carmel, Illinois and is one of the few active railroads in the area in 2019.
The railroad experienced several names changes during its early history. It was established in both Illinois and Indiana. Creative reorganizations meant the name in each state changed to transfer assets to the new entity. The dates listed below are mainly from A History of the Legal Development of the Railroad System of Southern Railway Company By Fairfax Harrison. The book has excellent detail of the legal cases that shaped the Southern Railway's evolution.
Main Line - New Albany, Indiana to East St. Louis, Illinois, 263.04 miles
1849 - East St. Louis to Pitssburg, IL
1872 - Princeton, IN to Albion, IL
1873 - Pittsburg to Belleville, IL
August 13, 1898 - Walnut Hill to Drivers, IL (10.27 miles) dismantled and abandoned
1880 - Princeton, IN to Ingleton, IN
1881 - Junction to Venice, IL
June 1, 1882 - Albion to Mt. Vernon, IL (47 miles)
October 9, 1882 - New Albany, IN to Mt. Vernon, IL (181 miles)
1887 - Walnut Hill to Centralia, IL
1890 - Centralia to Belleville Junction, IL, Illinois and St. Louis main line completed
July 1, 1890 - Mt. Vernon to Belleville Line complete
1836 - charter for railroad from Alton to Mt. Carmel, later relinquished to state and known as Southern Cross Railroad.
1851 - General William Pickering bought the railroad and formed the Alton, Mt. Carmel and New-Albany Railroad
June 14, 1869 - St. Louis, Mount Carmel, and New Albany Railroad Company organized in Illinois
May 4, 1872 - Louisville, New Albany, and St. Louis Air Line Railway Company formed from consolidation of St. Louis, Mount Carmel, and New Albany Railroad Company (Illinois) and Louisville, New Albany, and St. Louis Air Line Railway Company (Indiana).
June 17, 1872 - First mortgage on line from New Albany to Mt. Vernon with George Opdyke and Philo C. Calhoun named as trustees. Opdyke, IL on the L&N railroad was named after George Opdyke.
1875 - 1877 - Bankruptcy
January 3, 1878 - St. Louis, Mount Carmel, and New Albany Railway Company
August 30, 1878 - Louisville, New Albany, and St. Louis Railway Company formed by consolidating Louisville, new Albany, and St. Louis Railway with St. Louis and Mt. Carmel Railway Company
June 1, 1881 - Louisville, New Albany and St. Louis Railway Company created
December, 1884 - Bankruptcy
October 4, 1886 - Louisville, Evansville and St. Louis Railroad Company
May 21, 1889 - Louisville, Evansville and St. Louis Consolidated Railroad Company
1890 - 1893 - Struggle against insolvency
1894 - 1900 - Permanent additions during receivership
1894 - 1900 - Foreclosure proceedings
January 1, 1901 - Southern Railway Company, St. Louis Division
1982 - Norfolk Southern
A History of the Legal Development of the Railroad System of Southern Railway Company By Fairfax Harrison
Annual report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of Illinois, 12th (1881-82)
Commercial Valuation of Railway Operating Property in the United States, 1904
History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, IL, by George Flower
Manuscript Sources for Railroad History Research in the Special Collections Department of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech
Official Railway Guide and Hand Book 1885
Louisville, Evansville, & St. Louis Railroad Locomotive No. 27