The C&EIs Dixie Flyer, the premier service between Chicago and Florida, is southbound passing under Indiana SR63. The Flyer will reach Jacksonville, Florida tomorrow morning, where the FEC will break the train into Miami, Orlando, Tampa sections.
The northbound Dixie Flyer is passing over the east branch of the White river at Decker, Indiana headed for Dearborn station, Chicago. In two years the C&EI’s passenger service will cease to be profitable and its premier service to Florida will be only a shadow of itself.
A C&EI F3A pulls a freight through Vincennes, Indiana in August 1951. Trucks will soon serve online businesses, such as the Egloff Milling Company.
Bob Lehnen's Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad
I am modeling the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, a regional, Class 1 railroad, as it existed in the early 1950s. Its 800 miles of track served many online heavy industries and agro-businesses. The C&EI also had extensive coal operations based in the coalfields of western Indiana/eastern Illinois and in southern Illinois. But the C&EI was probably most famous for its Chicago-Florida Dixie passenger trains. They provided the fastest, most direct, and luxurious service to Florida. The C&EIs Chicago-Evansville, Indiana mainline provided access to the Chicago markets for southeastern railroads (L&N) and its Chicago-St Louis/southern Illinois Thebes gateway, for southwestern and western railroads (MoPac, Cotton Belt, Frisco).
Visitors will see the C&EIs Dixie Flyer and Dixie Flagler, the L&Ns Georgian and Humming Bird, the Dixie Piggyback Flier, a first generation TOFC service, heavy coal drags, many through freights, and locals and extras working the industrial areas.
I have tried to make my C&EI in the 1950s as prototypical as possible. The scheduled trains are from C&EI Timetable #45 (August 1951), many buildings are based on the picture evidence, all C&EI rolling stock models are based on the prototype, place names and types of industries come from the prototype’s documents.
Size: 2700 sq. ft., 2-levels around basement walls.
Scale: HO, code 83 track.
Scenery completed: 80+ %.
Rolling stock: 80 locomotives; over 500 cars.
Operations: DTC with dispatcher via radio and JMRI switch lists
Crew size: 13-15.
A C&EI train passes under a coaling facility at Sullivan, Indiana in 1951, as two railfans watch it. The C&EI built this structure in 1941 to service its steam locomotives. By 1950 the C&EI had transitioned to diesel locomotives. Too expensive to tear down, this structure remains today as a monument to the past. Today, CSX trains pass under this structure.