CIM 60, 50, and 52, all EMD SD9s at the engine house, Springfield, IL on May 7. 1966.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


CI&M logo


Illinois Midland Railroad redirects here.

The Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway, now known as the Illinois and Midland Railroad (reporting mark IMRR) is a railroad in the U.S. state of Illinois, serving Peoria, Springfield and Taylorville. Until 1996, when Genesee & Wyoming Inc. bought it, the company was named the Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway (reporting mark CIM). It is formerly a Class I railroad, specializing in the hauling of coal. At the end of 1970 it operated 121 route-miles on 214 miles of track; it reported 255 million ton-miles of revenue freight that year.


Chicago & Illinois Midland Railway 0-8-0 Lima switcher built 1937.

(Lima Locomotive Works, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


The Illinois and Midland Railroad logo.

When the Clean Air Act was passed in the 1960s the market for high sulfur central Illinois coal evaporated and the coal mines (at one time numbering 15) along the C&IM closed one by one. Commonwealth Edison put the C&IM on the market and offered to sell it for $1.00, but there were no takers.

Then Commonwealth Edison changed its philosophy and began building power plants in central Illinois, adjacent to C&IM tracks, sending electricity to Chicago via high voltage lines. Soon the C&IM was back in action, but this time it was hauling coal into central Illinois from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana, instead of hauling coal out of the central Illinois coal fields. Soon unit coal trains, received in interchange from Burlington Northern and the Chicago and North Western were traversing C&IM tracks to Commonwealth Edison's power plant at Powerton (Pekin) and to the still operating Havana Coal Transfer Plant.

However, by the late 1980s Commonwealth Edison's philosophy changed again. In the wake of railroad deregulation in 1980, they began seeking competitive bids from railroads who could deliver western coal directly to Chicago. As a result, Commonwealth Edison sold the C&IM in December 1987 to a group of private investors. The ownership of the C&IM changed hands twice more before it was purchased by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. in 1996 and the name was changed to Illinois and Midland Railroad.

As of 2023, Genesee & Wyoming holds 154 miles, and IMRR has many interchanges. There are four in Springfield, Illinois; Canadian National, CPKC, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific (who also has an interchange in Crescent, Illinois). BNSF also has an interchange in Crescent, Illinois, and the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad has one in Creve Coeur, Illinois. It can hold up to 286,000 pounds of supplies.


Chicago & Illinois Midland 2-8-2, Number 551, the sole surviving C&IM Steam locomotive, on display at the National Museum of Transportation outside St. Louis, Missouri. (Kbh3rd, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Chicago & Illinois Midland Caboose No. 65, built by American Car & Foundry Co. in 1937. (Gary Lee Todd, Ph.D., CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Illinois Midland Railroad Overview

Headquarters: Springfield, Illinois
Reporting mark: IMRR
Locale: Central Illinois
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


CIM 52, 50, and 60, all EMD SD9's, at the engine house, Springfield, IL on May 7, 1966.

(Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


See Also:

Railroads A-Z