Historic Railroad Map of The Midwest - 1881 - Danville, Olney & Ohio River Railroad

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Map of the Danville, Olney & Ohio River Railroad and its connections.

This map of the mid-western United States was published in 1881 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. Portions of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan are featured, showing counties, cities, towns, stations, waterways, coal fields, and the railroad network of the 1880's. It emphasizes the Danville, Olney & Ohio River Railroad and its connections.

The Danville, Olney & Ohio River Railroad was a narrow gauge railway running from Danville southward. The line was built to transport goods and passengers from Danville south to the Ohio River at Paducah. The railroad was known by locals as the Chicago & Ohio River Railway because a branch of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad extended north to Chicago from the valued coal fields at Danville. The extraction of coal was of great concern during this era, and mining companies spent a great deal of money transporting it.

The town of Harrisburg became a boom town in the late 1800's with its nearby coal deposits, and several mining companies maintained headquarters there. There was a large railroad hump-yard at Harrisburg. A branch connection of the Danville, Olney & Ohio River Railroad ran straight through Harrisburg on its way south.

In time the rail’s roadbed deteriorated so badly that the train had to be driven at extremely slow speeds so as not to tip over. Derailments of the railroad were common just the same. The railroad was foreclosed upon in 1886 and came under the control of the Chicago & Ohio River Railroad. It was sold to the Indiana, Decatur & Western Railroad in 1898. The line was dismantled in the 1930's.


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