More about the ICHS

The Illinois Central Railroad Historical Society (ICHS) is a registered educational non-profit corporation chartered by the State of Illinois. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to the society.

While not affiliated in with the Illinois Central Railroad Corporation, the Historical Society welcomes present, past and retired employees and all others interested in the active preservation of the railroad's heritage of that of its many predecessor lines. Participation in Society activities is encouraged, and members are kept informed through its publications, the Green Diamond periodical and the Newsletter. Board meetings and an annual meeting, railroadiana show and banquet are held at various locations along the present and former Illinois Central System. The ICHS headquarters and depot are maintained at Paxton, Illinois where its museum, archives and a "Company Store" are located. Members and others interested are encouraged to volunteer in the many active preservation and construction projects currently underway.

The Illinois Central system encompassed railroad lines through 14 states in the central section of the United States, known as Mid-America. The IC was chartered in 1851, and traces its roots back to 1828 with the formation of the West Feliciana Railroad, which later became part of the IC. The IC was the first land-grant railroad, the first railroad to promote settlement of the Western lands of Mid-America, and the first railroad to perfect a method of shipping fruit by rail.