UP 7527 crosses Highway 37 in Benton, IL
This website captures some of the history of railroads in southern Illinois. Photos from Wikipedia, Ebay, Facebook, Flickr, museums, libraries, and history lovers, maps, and links have been assembled in a collection organized by railroad and milepost. The site is free from ads. The main purpose is to remember the railroads that were instrumental in the growth of the area.
If you have additional information to share, get in touch via the Contact Page. I hope you enjoy browsing the site. Thank you for stopping by and I hope our paths cross again.
David Cantrell taking photo of Evansville Western Railway Locomotives at Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
David Cantrell looking for rail dates at site of former Benton, Illinois C and EI depot
while UP train heads north in 2019.
It is rare to find myself at the lens side of the camera. My mom had a knack for secretly taking photos while I was behind the viewfinder or thinking about the next shot.
Wilson Mayberry, on the right in the photo above, was employed on the B&O and Chessie System route between Flora and Shawneetown from 1941 to 1976 when he retired as a foreman. There were approximately 100 railroad bridges along the track and a yearly flooding season that complicated the line maintenance. I wish there had been more photos of his railroad career. We met him south of Omaha where the crew was eating lunch under the pecan trees. We toured a General Motors EMD GP-9 diesel locomotive that was stopped in Norris City. After researching the 1937 flood, I understand why he took us to Shawneetown to see the Ohio River height when it was raining on the weekend. He never discussed the difficulties of maintaining the rails. Working in extreme weather conditions coupled with the hard labor before automated equipment took a toll on his health. He passed away suddenly at 67, five years after retiring. It was too soon. This website helps keep the memory of him and the railroads in southern Illinois alive.
Wilson Mayberry in his favorite straw hat and 1966 Chevy Pickup taken by Karen Mayberry
New Shawneetown Depot 2018 by David Cantrell