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FALLEN FLAGS II
By Jim Herron

All photos are copyright by George Elwood

“There is nothing permanent, except change.”

In the second of three parts, we continue to review the loss of identity of America’s railroads after World War II, through merger, absorption, bankruptcy or business failure.

C&EI (Chicago & Eastern Illinois) was sold to L&N in June 1969. The initials of today’s 575 mile C & EI are found within the MP “buzz saw”. Great Northern, the best transcontinental railroad, became part of the Burlington Northern.

Pittsburgh & West Virginia created in 1917 was bought into the Norfolk & Western in October 1964, along with the NKP and Wabash.

Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf, a 327-mile route, was absorbed by the Texas & Pacific in 1964.

Litchfield & Madison, a 44-mile coal hauler, was absorbed into the L&M in January of 1958. Cotton Belt Route, the St. Louis Southern, became a part of MoPac and its parent, Southern Pacific RR.

The Southern Railroad rescued Georgia & Florida, a short line, from receivership in 1963.

Seaboard RR consolidated with the Atlantic Coast Line and became the Seaboard Coast Line in July of 1967.

Norfolk Southern merged with Southern in 1974.

Illinois Central merged with the GM&O in August 1972. Spokane, Portland & Seattle lost its banner to Burlington Northern in 1970.

Akron, Canton & Youngstown, a 169-mile route, was taken over by Norfolk & Western in 1964.

Western Maryland, an 861-mile coal route, is now part of the Chessie System.

Union Pacific acquired Spokane International, a 150-mile route, in October 1958. The Nickel Plate Route absorbed Wheeling & Lake Erie, a 500-mile route, in December 1949.


Texas & Pacific, a 2100-mile main line, was lost in a takeover by Missouri Pacific.

Tennessee Central, a 285-mile carrier, shut down in August 1968. L&N took over most of the route.

Savannah & Atlanta, a 144-mile route, merged into SR Central of Georgia in 1971.

Charleston & Western Carolina, a 342-mile road, merged with ACL in 1959. Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, a 273-mile route, was merged by the IC in August 1972.

Columbus & Greenville, a 168-mile Mississippi short line, merged into Illinois Central Gulf in September of 1972, but was later dismantled.

Atlanta, Birmingham & Coast RR fell to parent Atlantic Coast Line in 1945.

Erie, “Peck’s Bad Boy” of Eastern railroading, went through three bankruptcies and finally merged with the Lackawanna in 1967 to become the Erie Lackawanna RR.
New York, Ontario & Western, a 541-mile coal hauler, eclipsed CM as the nation’s largest railroad to be abandoned in 1957.
Illinois Central acquired Mississippi Central, a 149-mile bridge route, in 1967

 

New York, New Haven & Hartford had less than 200 miles of routes, but was a large, colorful eastern passenger railroad that merged into the Penn Central in 1968. Long Island Railroad, a model passenger and largest commuter railroad in the US, was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which let it file for bankruptcy in 1949. First a redevelopment, in 1966 it became an arm of New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Chicago Great Western, a 1400-mile route, merged into Chicago and Northwestern (C&NW) in July 1947.

Rutland Railroad, a 400-mile route was abandoned after reorganization and a strike in 1950.

 

Next month: Part III of Fallen Flags, as the whittling down continues through 1997.

 
 
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