Back to the Railroads of the Illinois Central System

Chicago, Havana & Western Railroad



    In February 1861, the Monticello Railroad Company was formed.  Alas, this was right before the outbreak of the Civil War, and like on so many other lines, the Civil War brought a halt to its building.

    It wasn't until 1872 that part of the line was built from Monticello to Champaign.  In that year, the Monticello was consolidated into the Havana, Mason City, Lincoln & Eastern.  And on the very same day, the HMCL&E was consolidated into the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western.  It was under the IB&W's banner that the lines were completed to Havana and Decatur.

    In 1879, a group of local investors purchased the "Extension Railway" at auction and the Champaign, Havana & Western Railroad was born.  A year later, the CH&W was leased to the Wabash.

   Wabash control lasted until 1887 when Edward Harriman bought the old CH&W property and formed the Chicago, Havana, & Western Railroad.  Harriman was intimately involved with the Illinois Central Railroad and he leased the new CH&W to the IC in 1888.


Built:   1872-1873
Admitted:   1888

 Cisco to Decatur, owned by Topflight Grain, operated by Decatur Junction

  Champaign to Seymour, still operated by IC, ...err.. CN

  Monticello to White Heath, preserved by the Monticello Railway Museum

  Most, if not all the rest, abandoned

Dedicated Links:

  Champaign, Havana & Western Email Group

 Monticello Railway Museum

Source   Most of the data came from Carlton J. Corliss' 1950 book, Main Line of Mid-America

Back to the Railroads of the Illinois Central System