A Midwest Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Missouri-Illinois Railroad


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The Missouri-Illinois Railroad (M-I) was part of MoPac's family since the steam-filled days of April, 20 1929. M-I subsidiary Mississippi River & Bonne Terre (MR&BT) was leased by M-I. The MR&BT road operated over 66 miles of rail line at its peak. Its primary resource was the wealthy mineral stronghold of southeastern Missouri. The Missouri-Illinois was a major short line running along both sides of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. It was wholly owned by the Missouri Pacific from July 1, 1929 after the consolidation of a number of Missouri and Illinois short lines, the Illinois Southern (IS), the Southern Missouri (SM) and the MR&BT. The M-I served the rural parts of Missouri and Illinois - for a small railroad it was an impressive carrier of freight, mineral ore, coal, passengers, and even operated a ferryboat transfer service, all in just 200 miles of mainline.
In the 20's the M-I and MR&BT operated passenger trains on all it's main lines, from the Mississippi River northeast in Illinois (IS), southwest in Missouri (SM), and south from Riverside., south of St. Louis (MR&BT). The M-I had excellent connections with many larger roads including it's owner, the MoPac, the Mobile & Ohio, Southern, St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southrn , to name a few. The M-I Missouri (SM) and the MR&BT passenger service was discontinued in the mid 19 40"s. The M-I Illinois passenger service (IS) lasted up to about 1950. The M-I was merged with the MoPac in 1978.
Short history of the Missouri-Illinois Railroad

1888 - A charter was granted to the Mississippi River and Bonne Terre Railway Company (MR&BT) and a line was surveyed from Riverside in Jefferson County to the Mississippi River, twenty-five miles below St. Louis, to Bonne Terre. It was constructed as a narrow gauge railroad
1890 - MR&BT was completed between these two points.
1894 - MR&BT changed to standard gauge.
post 1894 - Extension completed to Doe Run and MR&BT become a strong link to the prosperous mining areas and a trunk line for the SLIM&S.
1900 - The Illinois Southern (IS)and the Southern Missouri Railway (SM) created in 1900 to build a route from Mississippi to Kansas City.
post 1900 - The IS and SM are consolidated as the new IS.
1920 - The IS suffered a major disaster when it's steamship ferry sank in 1920, literally taking half of the railroad with it, thus forcing the railroad out of business. This foreclosure brought about the creation of the M-I, which took over the line.


Former Illinois Southern - 1931


Former Southerm Missouru - 1931
1921 - The Missouri-Illinois was originally formed in 1921 out of the bankrupt IS.
1929 - The Missouri Pacific acquired a controlling interest in both the M-I and the MR&BT on July 1st,
1931 - The M-I and it's susidiary, the MR&BT were operating passenger trains on it's old IS line from Sparta , Illinois through Centralia to Collins and Chester on the Mississippi River; 86 miles; on it's old SM line from Ste . Genevieve to Bismarck 43 miles; and on the MR&BT between Riverside and Doe Run 46 miles. The latter run had connection with the MoPac north to St. Louis and to southern points from Doe Run Jct. It also had a connecting train on a branch to Bonne Terre.
1943 - The Missouri side of the M-I and the MR&BT passenger service discontinued. Scheduled freights operated.
1948 - Illinois main line passenger service persists.
1955 - M-I is freight only with some branches closed.
1978 - The Missouri-Illinois was the last railroad to officially fall under the Mopac flag, being merged on November 1, 1978.


Mississippi River & Bonne Terre - 1931

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
http://moshortline.com/mrbt.html
http://moshortline.com/mrbt.html
http://moshortline.com/mrbt.html

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 29, 2009, revised Sept. 2, 2011