Wabash Railroad has been 100% Dieselized since the close
of World War II. On the left is a modern Diesel locomotive
of the type that carries freight through Monroe City. No
passenger trains are maintained on the line through here.
steam engine on the right was built in 1867 for the
Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway company running from
Hannibal to Moberly. The line was acquired by the M. K.
& T. and sold to the Wabash in 1944.
the 1830s the State of Illinois planned a system of
internal improvements which included a railroad from the
Illinois river (at Meredosia) to the Illinois-Indiana line
near Danville, Ill. The railroad was known as the
“Northern Cross.” And so the Wabash Railroad System
had its beginning, when on November 8, 1838, a select
party was taken on a trip to the end of the track, some
eight miles from Meredosia, and back again. The railroad
reached Jacksonville, Ill., January 1, 1840 and
Springfield, Ill., May 13, 1842. Another line was also
built and reached Naples, Ill, from Bluffs, Ill. in 1838.
The name of the railroad was subsequently changed to the
Great Western Railroad of Illinois and the track was
completed to Danville in November, 1856.
an enterprising group of businessmen in Indiana and Ohio
had visions of an unbroken line of railroad to connect
Toledo, Ohio, with the Mississippi river. This line was to
run through the valleys of the Maumee and Wabash rivers to
the state line of Illinois at a point seven miles from
Danville and was projected to connect with the Great
Western Railroad of Illinois to complete the line with the
companies were formed and known as the “Toledo and
Illinois Railroad Company and “The Lake Erie, Wabash
and St. Louis Railroad Company.”
Toledo and Illinois Railroad Company was incorporated
April 25, 1853 in the State of Ohio and the 75 miles of
track from Toledo to the Ohio-Indiana state line was
completed on July 17, 1855.
Lake Erie, Wabash and St. Louis Railroad Company was
incorporated August 31, 1852 in the State of Indiana to
baud a line of track from the OhioIndiana state line to
the Indiana-Illinois state line. The track was completed
to Fort Wayne, Ind., August 1, 1855, to Lafayette, Ind.,
June 23, 1856 and the state line was reached on August 1,
two railroads were consolidated on September 23, 1856 to
form the Toledo. Wabash and Western Railroad Company.
Great Western Railroad of Illinois was extended on the
west from the Illinois river to the Mississippi river at
Quincy, Ill, and Keokuk, Iowa, and the dream of the
Indiana and Ohio businessmen was realized. On June 30,
1865 these railroads were consolidated to form The Toledo,
Wabash and Western Railway Company. In 1870 the Hannibal
and Naples Railroad Company was completed and operated
by The Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway which provided
an additional through route from the Mississippi river
to Toledo, Ohio. In August, 1871 the Hannibal and Central
Missouri Railroad was completed between Hannibal and
Moberly, Mo. through Monroe City, Mo. This line was leased
to The Toledo, Wabash and Western Ry. Co. The following is
quoted from The Railroad Gazette of Sept. 2, 1871:
and Central Missouri R.R. Company.
road, which has been for sometime in progress from
Hannibal westward, seventy miles, to Moberly, Missouri,
on the North Missouri Road Company was completed on the
21st of August, the road forms an important western
connection for the Toledo, Wabash & Western Road,
being on nearly an exact air line between Toledo and
Kansas City and making the distance between these places,
via The North Missouri, 660 miles—.42 miles shorter than
the present route via The Hannibal & St. Joseph
Hannibal & Central Missouri Railroad was conveyed to
the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company in June,
1873. Traffic of The Toledo, Wabash & Western Railway
was then interchanged with and handled by the M. K. &
T. Railroad until November, 1897 when the Wabash Railroad
was given joint use of the line between Moberly and
Hannibal. In August, 1923, the Wabash was given exclusive
use of the line and it was put-chased by the Wabash
Railroad in 1941 and now owned and operated by the Wabash.
Passenger service was discontinued many years ago, only
freight tonnage now being serviced to Monroe City.
Missouri the Wabash R.R. had its origin when on March 3,
1851 the North Missouri Railroad was chartered to build a
line of railroad from St. Charles, Mo. to the
Missouri-Iowa state line. Later the charter was amended to
extend the line from St. Louis. In August, 1855, the line
was completed from St. Louis to St. Charles. The North
Missouri Railroad continued west and north from St.
Charles and reached Hudson or Macon, Mo. via Moberly, Mo.
in February, 1859. Because of the Civil War, during which
the North Missouri R.R. was partially destroyed,
construction was delayed and the line did not reach the
Missouri-Iowa state line until December, 1868. The North
Missouri R.R. line west from Moberly, Mo. was also
completed in December, 1868 and service established to
Kansas City, Mo. The North Missouri Railroad Company was
succeeded by the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern
Railway Company in 1872.
October 25, 1879, The Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific
Railway Company was incorporated and the several segments
east and west of the Mississippi river were consolidated
into one great railroad system. On August 1, 1889 the
name was changed to the Wabash Railroad Company and that
name has remained to the present time.
World War II the Wabash Railroad has invested more than
one hundred million dollars in new facilities of all kinds
in order to serve even more efficiently the shipping and
traveling public. In addition to modernizing its freight
yards, communication facilities, and signaling devices,
the Wabash Railroad has also greatly improved its
passenger train equipment. It is now 100% Dieselized.