CN Freight Train - 16th St. Chicago

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Front Side: Intercolonial Railway of Canada Back Side: Intercolonial Railway of Canada ICR R.R. Flag

Intercolonial Railway of Canada

Item: 2-i     New Listing     Price: $165.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Operated: 1872-1918
Very early ICR key. Pocket worn serif lettering and great patina.
Attractive double accent ring barrel. Key will open a CNR lock.

History

The Intercolonial Railway of Canada (reporting mark IRC), also referred to as the Intercolonial Railway (ICR), was a historic Canadian railway that operated from 1872 to 1918, when it became part of Canadian National Railways. As the railway was also completely owned and controlled by the federal government, the Intercolonial was also one of Canada's "1st Crown corporations."

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Front Side: Intercolonial Railway of Canada Back Side: Intercolonial Railway of Canada ICR cars dockside

Intercolonial Railway of Canada

Item: 3-i     New Listing     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's-early 1900's. Operated: 1872-1918
Locale: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec.
Superb serif lettering and patina. Key will open a CNR lock.

History

As a result of the ICR with its subsidized freight-rate agreements, as well as the National Policy of prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald, the industrial revolution struck Maritime towns quickly. The ICR was the perfect vehicle for transporting raw ore such as iron ore and coal to steel plants in Trenton, Sydney Mines and Sydney, as well as finished and semi-finished products to other Maritime and central Canadian locations. This led to foundries and factories of various industries springing up throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick along the ICR main line and branch lines.

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Front Side: Illinois Northern Railroad Back Side: Illinois Northern Railroad U.S Military Railroad 4-4-0 W.H. Whiton    AT&SF R.R. Flag    Lincoln's private car

Illinois Northern Railroad

Item: 4-i     Price: $85.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Attractive large block lettering.
Great carmel patina and nice pocket wear. First time offering.

History

The carrier was incorporated May 15, 1901, under the general laws of the State of Illinois for the purpose of operating a railroad to serve various industries located in Chicago, Illinois. The once short line carrier was a corporation of the State of Illinois, having its principal office at Chicago. It was controlled by the International Harvester Company, the capital stock being held by individuals for the benefit of that company. The property of the carrier was once operated by its own organization.

The 2.38 miles of Chicago area trackage was formerly trackage of the Illinois Northern Railway (INR), a switching carrier owned by International Harvester (IH). IH sold its capital stock in the INR to a group of railroads, one of which was the Atchison-Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company (ATSF). Later, ATSF, now Burlington Northern Santa Fe acquired all of the former INR interests in the Chicago area.

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Front Side: International Railroad Back Side: International Railroad International R.R. Flag

International Railroad

Item: 5-i     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Nice stamp marks.
Handsome ex-large block lettering.
Superb carmel patina!

History

The International Railroad Company was chartered on August 5, 1870, to build from the south bank of the Red River near Fulton, Arkansas, to Laredo and ultimately to Mexico by way of Austin.

The I&GN, like other railroads of its time, had many financial troubles and went into receivership on several occasions. Jay Gould acquired control of the I&GN in December of 1880. Due to his control of the Missouri Pacific (Mopac) and the Texas & Pacific Railroad, the three were operated as one system, although they each retained their separate corporate identities and seniority districts.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad IC R.R. Flag

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 6-i     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1800's. Forged by the S. O'Neill Co.
Handsome tapered barrel and superb gold patina.
Fine pocket wear. Over a 150 years old!

History

The Illinois Central Railroad, sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois, with New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa (1870). There was a significant branch to Omaha, Nebraska (1899), west of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and another branch reaching Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1877), starting from Cherokee, Iowa. The Sioux Falls branch has been abandoned in its entirety.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad Illinois Central E7 4004

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 7-i     Price: $100.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and dark patina. A real beauty!

History - continued from above

The IC is one of the early Class I railroads in the US. Its roots go back to abortive attempts by the Illinois General Assembly to charter a railroad linking the northern and southern parts of the state of Illinois. In 1850 U.S. President Millard Fillmore signed a land grant for the construction of the railroad, making the Illinois Central the first land-grant railroad in the United States.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad IC engine and coaches

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 8-i     Price: $100.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb stamp marks and patina. Another beauty!

History - continued from above

The Illinois Central was chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on February 10, 1851. Senator Stephen Douglas and later President Abraham Lincoln were both Illinois Central men who lobbied for it. Douglas owned land near the terminal in Chicago. Lincoln was a lawyer for the railroad. Upon its completion in 1856 the IC was the longest railroad in the world. Its main line went from Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip of the state, to Galena, in the northwest corner. A branch line went from Centralia, (named for the railroad) to the rapidly growing city of Chicago. In Chicago its tracks were laid along the shore of Lake Michigan and on an offshore causeway downtown, but land-filling and natural deposition have moved the present-day shore to the east.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad IC R.R. Flag

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 9-i     Price: $100.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Attractive stamp marks. Superb dark carmel patina.
Adams and Westlake forged beauty!

History - continued from above

In 1867 the Illinois Central extended its track into Iowa, and during the 1870's and 1880's the IC acquired and expanded railroads in the southern United States. IC lines crisscrossed the state of Mississippi and went as far as New Orleans, Louisiana, to the south and Louisville, Kentucky, in the east. In the 1880s, northern lines were built to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Further expansion continued into the early twentieth century.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad Canadian National's ex-Illinois Central main line crosses Norfolk Southern's ex-Conrail ex-NYC Kankakee Belt Line.

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 10-i     Price: $40.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Keyline forged.
Attractive block lettering and gold patina.
Given the moniker, "I Can't Run Railroads."

History - continued from above

On August 10, 1972, the Illinois Central Railroad merged with the Gulf-Mobile & Ohio Railroad to form the llinois Central Gulf Railroad. On October 30 that year the Illinois Central Gulf commuter rail crash, the company's deadliest, occurred. On February 11, 1998 the IC was purchased by the Canadian National Railway (CN) with the integration of operations beginning on July 1, 1999.

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Front Side: Illinois Central Railroad Back Side: Illinois Central Railroad IC R.R. Flag

Illinois Central Railroad

Item: 11-i     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Fraim forged.
Great block lettering and carmel patina.

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Front Side: Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad Back Side: Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad train orders

Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad

Item: 12-i     Price: $325.00

Remarks: Operated 1848-64. Oldest key listed - 170 years old.
Attractive serif lettering, accent ring and superb patina.
Eventually merged into the Big-4 Railroad.

History

The Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad (I&B) was formed in 1848 as a successor to the Pendleton & Indianapolis Railroad. It eventually became the Bellefontaine & Indiana Railroad, which in turn was succeeded by the Bellefontaine Railway in 1864, the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway in 1868, and the Cleveland-Cincinnati-Chicago & St. Louis Railway (Big Four) in 1889. Though the I&B once used the four-foot ten-inch Ohio gauge, it was quickly converted to standard gauge (4 ft 8.5 in/1.435 m).

In 1850, the I&B was one of the three founding lines of the Union Track Railway Company (along with the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad and the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad). Three years later, the UTRC changed its name to Indianapolis Union Railway (IU) and opened the world's first union station in Indiana's capital city.

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Front Side: International & Great Northern Railroad Back Side: International & Great Northern Railroad I&GN R.R. Flag

International & Great Northern Railroad

Item: 14-i     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's. Very early I&GN key.
Nice tapered barrel. Superb serif lettering and patina.
This key + I&GN key below = rare set!

History

The International Great Northern Railroad (I&GN) was a railroad that operated in the U.S. state of Texas. It was created on September 30, 1873, when International Railroad and the Houston & Great Northern Railroad merged. The railroad was officially incorporated as the International & Great Northern Railroad Company. Originally, the I&GN operated 177 miles of track from Hearne to Longview, but at its peak it owned 1,106 miles of track. As the railroad expanded, it reached Rockdale in 1874 and Austin on December 28, 1876. The line extended to San Antonio in 1880 and finally to the US-Mexican border town of Laredo on December 1, 1881.

The I&GN, like other railroads of its time, had many financial troubles and went into receivership on several occasions. Jay Gould acquired control of the I&GN in December of 1880. Due to his control of the Missouri Pacific (Mopac) and the Texas & Pacific Railroad, the three were operated as one system, although they each retained their separate corporate identities and seniority districts.

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Front Side: International Great Northern Railroad Back Side: International Great Northern Railroad Intersection of Main & Commerce, late 1800's

International Great Northern Railroad

Item: 15-i     Price: $125.00

Remarks: ca. late 1800's-early 1900's. Prior merger key.
Fine pocket wear. Attractive serif lettering and gold patina.
This key + I&GN key above = rare set!

History - continued from above

Due to financial difficulties stemming in part from the Panic of 1907, the I-GN entered receivership in 1908 and was sold at foreclosure to a reorganized company, the International & Great Northern Railway Company on August 31, 1911. Less than four years later, the company entered receivership again, which lasted until it was sold at foreclosure in July 1922. The International-Great Northern Railroad was incorporated by the state of Texas on August 17, 1922, and fully took over operation of the International & Great Northern Railway on December 31, 1922.

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Front Side: Ironton Railroad Back Side: Ironton Railroad Reading R.R. Flag    Iron Ry engine No.9    Leigh Valley RR Flag

Ironton Railroad Co.

Item: 17-i     Price: $100.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Slaymaker forged.
Superb serif lettering and patina.

History

The Ironton Railroad, originally incorporated on March 4, 1859 was built to haul iron ore from the mines at Ironton to iron furnaces along the Lehigh River. The rapid growth of the Lehigh Valley iron industry during the 1850s had resulted in a mining boom, but the heavy ore traffic was highly destructive to local roads.

In 1884, shortly after its purchase by Thomas Iron, the first shipment of Portland cement was made over the railroad. Extensive cement deposits lie in the vicinity of the line, and cement became an increasing part of the railroad's traffic. This proved to be its saving grace as the local iron mining industry began to decline. The Siegersville Branch was cut back from Orefield to Siegersville sometime between 1876 and 1900. However, passenger service began on the railroad on November 1, 1898.

The Ironton became the joint property of the Reading and Lehigh Valley Railroads in November 1923.

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Railroad IHB R.R. Flag

Indiana Harbor Railroad

Item: 19-i     Price: $100.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and patina. Very early style switch key.
Different style cut than all Belt keys listed below.

History

The Indiana Harbor Belt as we know it today was formed in 1907. The Chicago Junction Railway, a New York Central affiliate, had leased the East Chicago Belt Railroad and the Terminal Railroad in 1898, and had bought the Chicago, Hammond & Western Railroad in 1896. In October of 1907, the ECB's lease was dissolved, and it then acquired the CJ's interest in CH&W and assumed control of the Terminal Railroad as well. The new company was named the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. Although not a signatory, the New York Central provided the financial backing and quietly orchestrated the entire transaction, reserving trackage rights over all routes of the new railroad.

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad IHB engine No.336

Indiana Harbor Belt Railway

Item: 20-i     reward key     Price: $75.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Nice block lettering and superb patina.
Great looking IHB reward key.

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Belt wooden caboose

Indiana Harbor Belt Railway

Item: 21-i     reward key     Price: $65.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Attractive block lettering and superb patina.
Great serial No. "1973."

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad IHB R.R. Flag

Indiana Harbor Belt Railway

Item: 22-i     Price: $25.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Block lettering and nice patina. This IHB key and the other
two above have a different style bit than IHB keys below.

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad IHB North Hump Crew

Indiana Harbor Belt Railway

Item: 23-i     Price: $20.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Different style cut then then all IHB keys listed above and below.

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Front Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Back Side: Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad IHB switcher 2256

Indiana Harbor Belt Railway

Item: 24-i     Price: $95.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Nice block lettering and pocket wear. Superb carmel patina.
Different style cut then then all IHB keys listed above.
Key has the same style bit as a Clinchfield key

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Front Side: Inter-urban Railroad Back Side: Inter-urban Railroad Interurban electric R.R.

Inter-urban Railroad

Item: 25-i     Price: $145.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the Handlan-Buck Co.
Superb serif lettering and gold patina. In 1899 the Inter-Urban
Railroad was incorporated. That name was used in the early era.

History

On August 13, 1904, the first electric cars carrying passengers made their inaugural trip over the "Interurban". On the same day, a booster power station was started for the first time - and that power station would eventually become the Iowa Electric Power & Light Company and later into CRANDIC parent company Alliant Energy.

The CRANDIC provided both freight and passenger service between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. A regular schedule began with a two-hour trip between the towns, with a goal of reducing the transit to one hour or less as service became more established. Looking back, it is easy to note that the popularity of the rail service was attributable to the scarcity of automobiles and suitable road systems at the time.

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Front Side: Illinois Traction Railroad Back Side: Illinois Traction Railroad IT R.R. Flag

Illinois Traction System

Item: 26-i     Price: $135.00

Remarks: ca. early 1900's. Forged by the Handlan-Buck Co.
Superb serif lettering and gold patina. Very early IT key.

History

The Illinois Terminal Railroad, known as the Illinois Traction System until 1937, was a heavy duty interurban electric railroad with extensive passenger and freight business in central and southern Illinois from 1896 to 1982. When Depression era Illinois Traction was in financial distress and had to reorganize, the Illinois Terminal name was adopted to reflect the line's primary money making role as a freight interchange link to major steam railroads at its terminal ends, Peoria, Danville, and St. Louis. Interurban passenger service slowly was reduced, and it ended in 1956. Freight operation continued but was hobbled by tight street running in some towns requiring very sharp radius turns. In 1986, ITR was absorbed by a consortium of connecting railroads.

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Front Side: Illinois Terminal Railroad Back Side: Illinois Terminal Railroad Illinois Traction pin-up

Illinois Terminal Railroad

Item: 27-i     Price: $45.00

Remarks: ca. mid-late 1900's. Nice block lettering and patina.

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J


Front Side: Jersey Central Lines Back Side: Jersey Central Lines Central Railroad of New Jersey

Jersey Central Lines (Central R.R. of NJ)

Item: 1-J     Price: $45.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Elongated barrel.
Attractive block lettering and patina.

History

The Central Railroad of New Jersey, also known as the Jersey Central or Jersey Central Lines (CNJ), was a Class I railroad with origins in the 1830s.
It was absorbed into Conrail in April 1976 along with several other prominent bankrupt railroads of the northeastern United States.

The earliest railroad ancestor of the CNJ was the Elizabethtown & Somerville Railroad, incorporated in 1831 and opened from Elizabethport to Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1836. Horses gave way to steam in 1839, and the railroad was extended west, reaching Somerville at the beginning of 1842. The Somerville & Easton Railroad was incorporated in 1847 and began building westward. In 1849 it purchased the Elizabethtown & Somerville and adopted a new name: Central Railroad Company of New Jersey.

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Front Side: Jersey Central Lines Back Side: Jersey Central Lines CNJ Terminal

Jersey Central Lines (Central R.R. of NJ)

Item: 2-J     Price: $55.00

Remarks: ca. mid 1900's. Nice round hilt.
Superb large serif lettering and patina.

History - continued from above

The years after WWII were not kind to CNJ. Passenger traffic was almost entirely commuter business, requiring great amounts of rolling stock for two short periods five days a week. Three-fourths of CNJ's freight traffic terminated on line; the railroad was essentially a terminal carrier, which meant little profit was made, if any. In addition, heavy taxes levied by the state of New Jersey ate up much of CNJ's revenue. The state of New Jersey began subsidizing commuter service in 1964, and the tax situation changed in 1967. The merger between the Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western railways that was proposed in 1965 to counter the impending PRR-New York Central Railroad merger was to have included CNJ, but the bankruptcy of Penn Central killed that prospect. CNJ drafted elaborate plans for reorganization; they came to naught as neighboring railroads collapsed. Conrail took over freight operations of the CNJ on April 1, 1976; with passenger routes transferred to the New Jersey Department of Transportation including the present New Jersey Transit North Jersey Coast Line and Raritan Valley Line.

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Dates quoted for keys are approximate dates. Railroad switch keys initials (reporting mark) are assumed to be correct and accurate.
Comments on any railroad initials origin, including (typos), are welcome. Last update 08/21/2018

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