Vandalia Railroad Co.: A Short-Line in Illinois’ Former State Capital

VANDALIA, Ill. — The quiet hamlet of Vandalia is perhaps best known as the location of Illinois’ fourth capital or as the one-time western terminus of the National Road.

In the 1850s, less than two decades after that edifice was erected, the Illinois Central Railroad completed a line between Cairo and Galena, passing through through Vandalia.

In 1981, Illinois Central successor Illinois Central Gulf Railroad abandoned the line. In December 1983, the newly formed Vandalia Railroad reactivated a short segment of the line in Vandalia.

The railroad, owned by Pioneer Railcorp since October 1994, today operates 3.5 miles of tracks, connecting with CSX in Vandalia. The railroad mostly hauls steel pipe, plastic pellets and fertilizer.

Its locomotive, No. 104, was built in 1950 for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The EMD SW9 served as L&N No. 2271.

This line is different from an earlier Vandalia Railroad.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 246 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.