The Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railway Company was organized in 1879. It followed the original National Road from Columbus, Ohio through Indianapolis to Peoria, Illinois.
Bloomington was an agricultural center with limited attributes until the railroads arrived in the 1850's. Several railroad companies including this one established shops and car works at Bloomington and the community there grew as the railroads grew.
Indianapolis was an important railroad hub with transportation lines leading to major cities such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, and Louisville. At that time Indianapolis was known as the Crossroads of America.
The Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railway became the Indiana Railway in 1887.
This map of the north-central United States was published in 1881 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. It displays counties, cities, towns, waterways, and the railway system of the 1880's featuring the main line.