St. Louis Southwestern Railway Lines- the Cotton Belt Route69
The North Missouri Railroad and the Wabash73
St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado Railroad and the Rock Island77
St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern Railroad and the Burlington79
The Chicago & Alton Railroad81
The Illinois Central Railroad and Its St. Louis Connections 84
Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad86
The Ohio & Mississippi Railroad and the Baltimore & Ohio87
The "Bee Line," the "Big Four" and the New York Central System90
The Vandalia Line and the Pennsylvania Railroad93
Toledo, St. Louis & Western Railroad and the Nickel Plate96
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway98
The St. Louis & Southeastern and the Louisville & Nashville100
Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway101
The Cairo Short Line and the Mobile & Ohio103
The Southern Railway System104
The McKinley Lines and the Illinois Terminal System105
PART III Limiteds, Expresses and Specials108
About the Author176
It was inevitable that St. Louis, due to its central geographical location, would become a major U.S. transportation center. But because the city relied upon river traffic as its earliest means of connection with the hinterlands and with other inland marine ports, its debut as an important railroad center was delayed until after the Civil War.
The war and its attendant difficulties for a commercial and industrial city in a border state caused St. Louis to lag behind Chicago in economic growth and railroad development. While steamboat commerce on the rivers was responsible for the spectacular rise of St. Louis in antebellum years, the Mississippi River was also a formidable harrier to its accessibility by railroads. This situation was finally relieved with the opening of Eads Bridge at St. Louis in 1874, but the river had by then been bridged for 18 years at Rock Island, Illinois, which allowed widespread construction of railroads from Chicago into the northwestern Mississippi Valley.
Despite these historical disadvantages, St. Louis was not to be denied distinction as a rail center. Before 1900, the city firmly claimed its niche as the nation's second most important railroad hub. Union Station was a major element in that attainment.
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