The End of an Era

World War II brought a sense of hope for the renamed Illinois Terminal Railroad Company. Ridership grew as a result of fuel rationing because many used the ITRR to travel to their war-effort jobs. The post-war era brought an economic boom and with it the rapid construction and improvement of highways. Consumers purchased automobiles allowing them to travel at their schedule. Because the new highways often paralleled the ITRR's main lines, the company found itself struggling to survive.

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Passenger Revenue on the ITRR dropeed dramatically after WWII as competition with automobiles overtook rail travel. 

On May 29, 1952, a petition was filed to abandon the mainline between Decatur and Bloomington. Four years later, mainline passenger service came to a close with a ceremonial train draped in black on March 3, 1956. The ITRR was sold to a group of ten St. Louis based Railroads allowing freight service to continue. In 1981 an agreement was made for the Norfolk and Western Railroad to purchase the entire system. On May 8, 1982, at 12:01 AM, the Illinois Terminal Railroad Company ceased to exist.

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The final car pulling into the Carlinville Station on March 3, 1956. Hundreds lined the route and paid their last respects to the ITS. 

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Crowds gathered all along the route to bid farewell to the Illinois Terminal Railroad.

The End of an Era