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Rantoul Railroad

History

   The Havana, Rantoul & Eastern Railroad was created in January 1873 and a charter was granted on April 1st of that year for a line from Havana Illinois to a point near the Illinois-Indiana border.  In Indiana, the oddly named Mississippi & Atlantic Railroad Company was chartered to extend the line to West Lebanon Indiana.

   Because of con artists posing as railroad builders had burned the local populace in the past, funds were hard to raise.  Construction was finally started in the Summer of 1875, by the beginning of 1876 the three-foot line had been built between Fisher and Alvin Illinois.  The 12 miles from Alvin to West Lebanon Indiana was put into service on December 1st, 1878.  And by February the following year, line had been extended from Fisher to Le Roy Illinois.  Le Roy would be as close as the line would ever get to Havana.

   On May 1st, 1880 the line was merged into the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway.  This line fell apart in the mid-1880's and the HR&E was put for auction.  The winning bidder then sold the HR&E to the Illinois Central Railroad.  The Indiana portion was organized as the Lebanon & Western and the Illinois portion as the Le Roy & Eastern.  The two companies were consolidated as the Rantoul Railroad, a subsidiary of the Illinois Central Railroad on June 3, 1887.

Map

Built:   1876-1879
Admitted:   1888
Fate:   Coming in the future.
Dedicated Links:  None Known
Source   Most of the data came from Carlton J. Corliss' 1950 book, Main Line of Mid-America

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