The reborn Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway operates the original line
owned by the classic TP&W which was
merged into the Santa Fe in 1983. The TP&W dates back to the
mid-19th century and operated as an independent carrier for nearly 100
years before disappearing into the ATSF. In an interesting
twist of fate (similar to the likes of reborn systems like the Wheeling
& Lake Erie Railway) the railroad's name was
resurrected when the original TP&W route was sold by the Santa Fe
and purchased by a private company. Today the railroad is part of the
Genesee & Wyoming family of short lines and connects with most of the major Class I railroads, seeing several thousand carloads of traffic annually.
A trio of TP&W Geeps led by GP38-2 #2001 are seen here with a westbound freight at Gilman, Illinois on January 4, 1981.
original Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway dates back to 1887 when it
was created through the merger of the Peoria & Warsaw Railway and
the Logansport, Peoria & Burlington Railroad, which stretched from
Effner, Indiana to Warsaw, Illinois. In later years when the TP&W
became a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad (later Penn Central)
and Santa Fe its reach extended as far west as Fort Madison (via ATSF)
and as far east as Logansport (via PC). At its largest length the
TP&W stretched nearly 230 miles on a straight shot between Fort
Madison and Logansport with short branches to Keokuk and Warsaw,
TP&W GP18 #600 and a Precision National (PNC) GP7 roll past grain elevators at Effner, Indiana with a westbound freight on May 28, 1977. PNC was one of the first companies to offer leased units within the railroad industry.
While the TP&W did serve farms and agricultural areas located in Illinois and Indiana a significant portion of its traffic came from its strategic bridge routing connecting with several eastern and western systems including the New York Central; Chicago & Eastern Illinois; Pennsylvania; Norfolk & Western; Gulf, Mobile & Ohio; Santa Fe; Rock Island; Chicago & Illinois Midland; Milwaukee Road; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Chicago & North Western; Louisville & Nashville; Illinois Central; and several other smaller systems.
After the bankruptcy of the Penn Central in 1970 and subsequent takeover
by the Santa Fe in 1979 the TP&W became part of the ATSF in late
1983. By the late 1980s, however, the Santa Fe was looking to rid
itself of the former TP&W lines (which stretched to Logansport after
the TP&W had purchased the former PRR line following the PC
collapse) and sold the entire original main line in February of 1989 to
the Delaware Otsego Corporation, which resurrected the Toledo, Peoria
and Western Railway name. While the TP&W became part of RailAmerica
in September of 1999 and is now a part of the Genesee & Wyoming family it remains an independent short line railroad today
seeing over 26,000 annual carloads including auto parts, coal, steel
and chemical traffic.
GP35 and its caboose rest at the small yard in Effner on May 28, 1977. Note the unit's AAR Type B trucks; the TP&W's GP35s were trade-ins to EMD of retired Alco RS2s.
Steam Locomotive Roster
This interesting consist of power shows a TP&W train exiting the yard at Logansport, Indiana on May 18, 1979. Up front is the road's bicentennial unit, GP30 #700.
Currently, the railroad still operates its original main line
between Logansport and Peoria. While the TP&W has since abandoned
its branch between Warsaw and Keokuk it picked up two additional line,
one to Winamac and another unconnected route between Monterey and North
Judson. Overall, the railroad currently operates nearly 250 miles of
trackage and connects with six of the seven Class Is; BNSF Railway,
Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Union
Pacific. So if you are ever in Indiana and Illinois be sure and check out the
Toledo, Peoria & Western, a railroad whose roots date back over 150