Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rail travel from Bloomington IN to Monida Pass in Idaho/Montana in 1880

From: "Stephens, Larry V" stephenl@indiana.edu

I'm working on a book that includes rail travel from Bloomington, Indiana to Monida Pass in Idaho/Montana in 1880.

From what I've found so far there was track from the Mississippi River west to Utah and the then Utah & Northern ran up to the pass where it stopped (in 1880). I believe it was the U.P. that it connected with (I found new material today I've not had a chance to review).

I've also found material that tells me there was track from Chicago west that would link with the U.P. Was this the Illinois Central? Were cars switched between trains (i.e., you were not forced to unload cargo and reload it on another line's cars, were you?)?

What I can't find (so far) is track from Bloomington to link all this up. I believe the IC and perhaps the Monon went through Bloomington at that time. Can you point me to some information about this?

Also, if it's not asking too much:

How long would it take you to ride a train from Blomington to Monida Pass in 1880? 4-5 days?

How many loaded cars could an engine pull then? Did they ever link engines for more power?

—Larry V. Stephens