The Chicago, Attica and Southern Railroad (CAS), nicknamed the "Dolly Varden Line", was a railroad linking small towns in west central and northwestern Indiana to the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railway (C&EI) near Momence, Illinois (where traffic continued on to Chicago). Never financially strong, the CA&S nevertheless continued operating through World War II before abandonment.


Photo: Left: CAS Enginehouse at Attica with steam locomotives 1889 and 201. Lad G Arend photograph. Right: Attica yard.

In the 1880s the Chicago and Great Southern Railway (C&GS) completed a rail line from the Indiana community of Fair Oaks, where it joined the Monon Railroad, south to the city of Brazil. Primarily a coal hauler, the C&GS later reorganized as the Chicago and Indiana Coal Railway (C&IC) and extended the line further north to La Crosse and Wilders in order to form connections with other railroads.

The management of the C&IC "Coal Road" became intertwined with that of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois, and a connection was built between the two that ran from Percy Junction north of Goodland (on the C&IC) northwest to Momence, Illinois (on the C&EI). By 1894 the Chicago and Eastern Illinois had absorbed the smaller C&IC.

In 1913 the C&EI went bankrupt. As part of its reorganization over the next several years, it cut free the old "Coal Road" which in turn organized itself into the Chicago, Attica and Southern Railroad, selling to other railroads some of its more valuable lines for cash. The CA&S struggled through the 1920s and found itself bankrupt in 1931. It never left receivership or turned a profit again, and began to abandon its track in increments over the next fifteen years. The CA&S abandoned its connection to the C&EI in 1943, shut down operations in September 1946, and was completely abandoned shortly thereafter.


Photos: Left: CAS #269 at Goodland, Indiana. Lad G Arend photograph. Right: CAS Steam 201 at Zadoc, Indiana 1930. John Eagan Collection


Photos: Left: Steam #269 at Attica, 1940. Louis W. Schaller photograph. Right: First freight on the CAS, 1922. Wade Frash Collection.


Photos: Left: CAS M1. The CAS's internal combustion motive power. Taken February 14, 1936 at Momence, IL. Right: Same vehicle in need of repair. Unknown year.


Photos: Another of the unique CAS internal combustion motive power. Evans Auto Railer M-2. Right: M-2 with freights cars. Unknown location. Louis W. Schaller photos.

These photo represent an even larger group of photos and information about the Chicago Attica and Southern. To see more, visit the Chicago Attica and Southern Yahoo Groups Page


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