Peoria-Pekin Interurban Railroad
Submitted By Paul Stringham

The Peoria & Pekin Traction was incorporated, and shortly after work was started in building the line. It was open to South Bartonville on December 14, 1899, and to Pekin on April 2, 1900.

The line was sold on February 9, 1907, and renamed Peoria Railway Terminal (PRT). The Chicago & Alton and the Rock Island Railroads were the purchasers. The electric cars continued to handle the passengers, and steam locomotives handled freight.

Until 1910 the electric cars used the Peoria streetcar line on South Adams, but in that year the PRT opened its own line on Washington Street. On December 9, 1923, the cars started using the street railway track to Hamilton Street. This lasted only until August 31, 1924, when the electric cars were taken off and the line retained freight service only.

The company was again sold at a bankruptcy sale and on May 1, 1927, was conveyed to the Peoria Terminal Company, which was owned entirely by the Rock Island Railroad.

When the Rock Island Railroad went bankrupt in 1980, the line was sold to the Chicago & North Western, which was acquired by the Union Pacific. Toledo Peoria & Western now uses the track under trackage rights.

The line ran along the west side of the Illinois River, crossing the river at Pekin. The station in Peoria was on Hamilton near Adams until 1910 when it was changed to Washington and Chestnut. The car barn, powerhouse, and dispatcher?s office were at South Bartonville. The station at Pekin was on Second Street.

Little is left except the track from Hollis to Iowa Junction, which is used by the Toledo Peoria & Western. 

ILLINOIS TRACTION CO.
Incorporated in 1904, and over the next several years acquired various interurban and local street railway companies. In 1913, acquired Western Railways & Light Co. and its subsidiary companies. Interurbans reorganized 1937 to Illinois Terminal Railroad Co. The following are the most significant interurban companies acquired by Illinois Traction Co., basically operating between their namesake cities.

Danville, Urbana & Champaign Railway Co.
Illinois Central Traction Co. (Decatur-Springfield)
St. Louis & Springfield Railway Co.
Bloomington, Decatur & Champaign Railroad Co.
Peoria, Bloomington & Champaign Traction Co.
Peoria, Lincoln & Springfield Traction Co.

Interurban lines:
Danville-Ridge Farm (constructed 1901-1905, discontinued 1936)
Danville-Catlin (constructed 1902, discontinued 1937)
Homer branch (constructed 1904, discontinued 1929)
Danville-Champaign (constructed 1902-1903, discontinued 1953)
Champaign-Decatur (constructed 1907, discontinued 1955)
Decatur-Springfield (constructed 1904, discontinued 1955)
Decatur-Bloomington (constructed 1905-1906, discontinued 1953)
Bloomington-Peoria (constructed 1907, discontinued 1953)
Peoria-Springfield (constructed 1906-1908, discontinued 1956)
Springfield-Granite City (constructed 1904-1906, discontinued 1956)
Granite City-St. Louis (constructed 1910, discontinued 1958)
Staunton-Hillsboro (constructed 1905, discontinued 1939)

View Map circa 1937

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