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The Chicago and North Western Railroad

The CNW also came through La Salle County and was a branch off the mainline at DeKalb IL. The railroad founded the town of Spring Valley in the late 1800's. The railroad came primarily to tap into the coal fields. In Spring Valley there were three mines which you can see some pics of on the coal mine page. The CNW I was told made it over to Seatonville via the New York Central  tracks from Ladd. The Milwaukee Road also used the NYC line to get over to Hennepin.
   The CNW made it's way down through Earlville where it crossed the BN mainline, on to Triumph, Troy Grove, then crossing the ICRR near Dimmick and then to  Churchill (east of Ladd) and then southward to Spring Valley. A map toward the bottom of this page shows the CNW coming into Churchill and then going southward just west of the C.B. & Q. track.  Churchill was located just along Plank Road north of I-80 where you make the left hand turn to Ladd. It was in this general area.

Today the CNW line is operated by the Union Pacific and it ends at Troy Grove. The silica sand plant is it's main customer. Tracks over route 51 were torn up about 1980. The CNW had connections with the Rock Island at Spring Valley. The CNW line was embargoed after the Rock Island went out of business in 1980.

I am looking for more historical information about this line.  If you have historical dates, pictures etc and would like to share them, please contact me at

CNW southbound at Earville in 1994
Ray Tutaj Jr Photos

Triumph IL 1994
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

CNW about to pass under I-39
1994 photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

CNW working near Silica Sand plant in Troy Grove
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

1994 at Troy Grove IL
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

1994 Troy Grove

Coming by the Earville Drive-in 1994
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

1992 Troy Grove
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

CNW 1993 Troy Grove
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

About to pass under I-39 Southbound
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

CNW at Troy Grove around 1980
Photo by Dave Wozniak

The old CNW Troy Grove Depot

Triumph Depot - CNW Railroad

Special thanks to Marion and Scott of the LSBC club for providing the maps below!

CNW Spring Valley Tracks, Yard, Turntable

Spring valley IL CNW Railroad
Thanks for sending the pic Rick!

Ladd IL Tracks

To Churchill


Shows the CNW coming into Churchill

CNW came into CHurchill and went to Spring Valley plus Ladd

Spring Valley 1935. Notice CNW sign at left
CN&W passenger station nearby. (See Sign at Left says CNW Passenger) Rock Island tracks in distance.

Can I make a little point here? I kind of digress, but you see those brick streets in the above picture? We still have brick streets in a few places in our towns. The city has spent ZERO dollars with blacktop on these roads. Close to my home in LaSalle there are brick streets. Can you imagine the millions of dollars that have been wasted on blacktop which does not last for more than five good years or so? Are we not going broke because of Asphalt? If brick roads need repair it is simply done by taking up some old brick and replacing a few here and there. These streets were paved with brick in the early 1900's. I say let's get rid of the blacktop where we can and look to the future to save money. What am I missing here?

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