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Peoria and Pekin Interurban Railroad


The Peoria & Pekin Traction Company was incorporated in 1899, and shortly thereafter after work was started in building the line between the two cities. The line reached South Bartonville by December 14, 1899, and Pekin by April 2, 1900.

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

Until 1910, the electric cars used the Peoria streetcar line on South Adams; during 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 until August 31, 1924, when the electric cars were taken off the line.

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 line's Peoria station was on Hamilton near Adams until 1910 when it was relocated to the intersection of 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 still used by the Toledo Peoria & Western. The remains of the car barn still stand in South Bartonville.

-Submitted by Paul Stringham

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