A beautiful publicity photo of the C&EI's Whippoorwill.

(Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad, W. Lenheim Collection)



The Whippoorwill was a short-lived passenger train operated by the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad (C&EI) between Chicago, Illinois and Evansville, Indiana.

The C&EI introduced the Whippoorwill in 1946 as a day train supplement to the express streamliners it operated in conjunction with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N). The Whippoorwill was one of the first new streamliners introduced after World War II, with completely new equipment delivered by Pullman-Standard. A C&EI advertisement in Trains magazine touted the "ultra-modern chair car accommodations" and "latest type passenger Diesel locomotives."


The train's original consist, as delivered by Pullman-Standard, included the following cars:

Number Type Name Disposition
No. 304 Baggage-coach Turkey Run Sold to the Shedd Aquarium and used as a fish transport. Now at the Monticello Railway Museum.
No. 460 Coach Vigo Trail Sold to the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) in 1961; converted to maintenance of way in 1971.
No. 461 Coach Vincennes Trail Sold to the IC in 1961; destroyed in a derailment involving the City of New Orleans in 1971.
No. 462 Coach Vanderburg Trail Sold to the IC in 1961; sold to Silcott Railroad Equipment in 1971.
No. 463 Coach Vermillion Trail Sold to the IC in 1961. Sold to Black Hills Central Railroad in 1971. Sold to the Oregon, Pacific and Eastern Railway (OP&E) after 1971; possibly 1972 and no later than 1975. Sold to Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (LA) in 1975 and named "Sierra Madre."
No. 505 Diner Shakamak Inn Sold to the IC in 1962. Conveyed to the Louisiana Arts and Sciences Center in Baton Rouge. Now at the Monticello Railway Museum.
No. 702 Parlor observation Chicagoland Rebuilt as a coach in 1964.

A famous publicity photograph (see top photo), which the C&EI used long after the train's discontinuance, showed a single EMD E7 locomotive (No. 1102), leading these seven cars which made up the train's original consist. The photograph was colorized to accentuate the train's blue and yellow color scheme. The northbound train (No. 4) departed Evansville at 7:00 am and arrived in Chicago's Dearborn Station at 12:20 pm. The train then returned south (as No. 3) at 5:30 pm, arriving in Evansville at 10:50 pm.

The C&EI discontinued the Whippoorwill in 1948 after the L&N began running a section of the Georgian to Chicago over a similar schedule. The C&EI reassigned the Whippoorwill's equipment to the Georgian and the Humming Bird until finally selling most of it to the Illinois Central in the early 1960s.



Route of the Whippoorwill.

(en:wikipedia, Wikipedia CC-SA 3.0.; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0., via Wikimedia Commons)


Whippoorwill Overview

First service: 1946
Last service: 1948
Former operator: Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad