In Freeport, the line connected to the existing Illinois Central line between Cairo and Iowa. Also in Freeport, the CM&N was building north towards Madison, Wisconsin.
The line was completed by 1890, and became an instant mainline for the Illinois Central. It shortened milage between Iowa and Chicago by nearly 200 miles.
The line also was the fourth into Rockford, which became an important stop for the railroad. In addition, the line bypassed Elgin, but still met with the critical lines heading into Elgin.
The line was double tracked in 1895 between Chicago and Broadview.
The railroad was operated by the Illinois Central, but became a part of it entirely in 1903.
The railroad has seen virtually no changes since it opened. The railroad continues to follow I-55 into Chicago, where it meets up on the south side of Chicago with the mainline towards Centralia.
In 1972, the Illinois Central was renamed the Illinois Central Gulf, after a merger with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad.
By 1988, the line was spun off to a subsidiary named Chicago, Central & Pacific. In 1998, the Illinois Central and subsidiaries were purchased by Canadian National Railway, who currently operates the railroad.
The line is operated as the Freeport Subdivision, which sees a fair amount of traffic.
Located east of Freeport, this small through girder bridge crosses Yellow Creek Road.
Built in 1911, the bridge consists of a single ballasted deck through plate girder span, set onto concrete substructures. It was originally built to cross the main road into Freeport, later US-20.
Highway 20 would be relocated in 1956. Currently, US-20 uses a freeway alignment around town.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition. Issues with the floor are apparent, with a large piece of concrete missing.
The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.