Mattoon and Charleston Area Railroads
Railroads were instrumental to the development of Mattoon and Charleston, twin cities located in Coles County in east-central Illinois. The railroads enabled both cities to become regional centers for agriculture, industry, and commerce. The Illinois Central Railroad and New York Central System maintained shops, yards, and offices in Mattoon, while the Nickel Plate Road had shops, offices, and a yard in Charleston. In the early 20th century, the railroads were the major source of employment in both cities. Dozens of passenger trains stopped at the local stations. The phasing out of steam locomotives following World War II led to the closing of the shops. Railroad consolidation that began in the 1960s would lead to abandonment of routes and greatly diminish the importance of the railroads to the economies of Mattoon and Charleston.
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Railroads Transform a Region
Electric Railway Operations
Illinois Central Railroad
New York Central System
Nickel Plate Road
Other Area Railroads
This Was a Railroad Town
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Alton Amtrak April August began Big Four Railroad Broadway Avenue building built caboose cars central Illinois Central Transportation Company Chicago Chicago-New Orleans CITC City Clover Leaf Route Coles County Historical Conrail Consolidated Rail Corporation County Historical Society Courtesy of Coles Courtesy of Mark Courtesy of Mattoon Courtesy of Nancy Craig Sanders crew Decatur December depot east eastbound Electro-Motive Division Evansville former NKP former PRR freight station freight train IC's Indiana Indianapolis interurban James McMullen June Louis line March Mark Camp collection Mattoon and Charleston Mattoon Public Library Mattoon yard miles Missouri Pacific Railroad Motors Corporation Nancy Easter-Shick collection Neoga northbound October Ohio operated Panama Limited Paris passenger service passenger station passenger trains PD&E Penn Central Transportation Peoria Photograph by Craig Photograph by James Railway roundhouse short-line southbound Southwestern Limited steam locomotives Street streetcar switch Terre Haute TH&A Thomas French Toledo tower track Tuscola Wabash Railroad westbound