Streamliners (Illinois Terminal Railroad)

The Streamliners were a fleet of three streamlined electric multiple units built by the St. Louis Car Company for the Illinois Terminal Railroad in 1948–1949. They operated primarily between St. Louis, Missouri and Peoria, Illinois in the late 1940s and early to mid-1950s. They were the last interurban cars manufactured in the United States.[3]

Illinois Terminal Railroad streamliner.JPG
ITC No. 300, one of the three streamliners
Illinois Terminal Railroad Streamliner interior.JPG
Coach interior
In service1948–1956
ManufacturerSt. Louis Car Company
Number built3
FormationThree cars
Operator(s)Illinois Terminal Railroad
Car body constructionAluminium
Maximum speed80 miles per hour (130 km/h)
Traction systemGE 1240A2
Traction motors4 × 140 horsepower (100 kW)
Current collection methodtrolley pole
BogiesGeneral Steel Castings
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


The St. Louis Car Company constructed all three sets.[2] Each equipment set comprised three cars. The cars were constructed of fluted aluminum, painted in royal blue. Each car was independently powered by four 140 horsepower (100 kW) traction motors. Top speed was 80 miles per hour (130 km/h).[1]


The streamliners represented a last attempt by the Illinois Terminal to regain lost passenger traffic and were the first new passenger cars the railroad had ordered since 1918.[4] The Illinois Terminal began teasing the new streamliners in 1947, but did not announce the order until May 1948. Its original plan was to place all three in service between St. Louis and Peoria.[5][6] The first new train in service was the City of Decatur, which began operating between St. Louis, Missouri and Decatur, Illinois (not Peoria) on November 7, 1948. It was the first through service offered by the Illinois Terminal between those two cities.[1][7]

By March 1950 all three sets were in operation. The other two, the Fort Crevecoeur and Mound City, were on the St. Louis–Peoria route as originally planned. All three trains offered parlor and "À la carte" dining service. The two streamliners made the trip in 4 hours 40 minutes, forty minutes faster than conventional interurbans on the route.[8] Poor patronage led the Illinois Terminal to withdraw the City of Decatur in August 1950; the equipment was reassigned to the Peoria run.[9] The new service was named Sangamon, which was the railroad's original choice in 1947.[5][10]

All three sets were withdrawn by 1956 when passenger service on the Illinois Terminal ended.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Anderson 1948, p. 10
  2. ^ a b Schafer 2003, p. 70
  3. ^ Middleton 1961, p. 420
  4. ^ Middleton 1961, p. 201
  5. ^ a b "Advertisement". Edwardsville Intelligencer. January 27, 1947. p. 5. Retrieved August 31, 2014 – via  
  6. ^ "Illinois Terminal Orders Three Streamline Trains". Edwardsville Intelligencer. May 29, 1948. p. 1. Retrieved August 31, 2014 – via  
  7. ^ "New Terminal Train To Be Shown Here". Edwardsville Intelligencer. October 19, 1948. p. 1. Retrieved August 31, 2014 – via  
  8. ^ Official Guide of the Railways. New York: National Railway Publication Co. March 1950. p. 1198. OCLC 6340864.
  9. ^ "Terminal Discontinues Streamliners Nos. 91, 94". Edwardsville Intelligencer. August 22, 1950. p. 2. Retrieved August 31, 2014 – via  
  10. ^ "Advertisement". Edwardsville Intelligencer. December 7, 1950. p. 3. Retrieved August 31, 2014 – via  
  11. ^ EuDaly et al. 2009, p. 295


Further readingEdit

  • Schafer, Mike (November 2003). "White Elephants under wires". Classic Trains Special Edition. No. 1, Dream Trains. pp. 94–98. ISSN 1541-809X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External linksEdit