Wabash Railway Company
Wabash Railway Company
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Wabash Railway Company
October 14, 1925
Republic Bank Note Company
12 3/4" (w) by 8 1/2" (h)
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The Wabash Railroad after World War II consisted of an Ohio company incorporated September 2, 1937, to reorganize a bankrupt Wabash Railway; on March 15, 1941, it completed a reorganization plan for the purpose, and soon the booming World War II traffic helped the company back to solvency.
The oldest antecedent of the Wabash was the Northern Cross Railroad, chartered about 1837 to run from Quincy, Ohio, to the Indiana state line. This grew into the Toledo, Wabash & Western Railway, whose 678 miles of track its management reorganized in 1877 as the Wabash Railway Company. Two years later it merged with the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Railway that added 778 miles west of the Mississippi to the new firm, now named the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway. By 1889, the railroad had grown to about 3,518 miles of track, at which time it reorganized yet again, this time emerging as the Wabash Railroad Company.
Bankruptcy of this company about 1915 resulted in sale under foreclosure on July 21 of that year and its reorganization on October 22, 1915, as the Wabash Railway Company. It was this company that went into bankruptcy during the Depression.
After World War II, the Wabash Railroad Company commenced, in 1949, its program of fully replacing steam with diesel-electric locomotives. At that time it owned two diesel passenger locomotives and 40 diesel switchers. The Wabash retired its last steam locomotive from service on August 11, 1955, completing conversion to diesel motive power. By December 31, 1961, the company had 322 diesel units, including 22 passenger, 141 freight, 53 road switchers, and 106 switchers, representing an investment of $47,000,000. At that time the railroad operated in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa a total of 1,995.11 miles of main line, with trackage rights over 424 more. The east-west main line extended from Buffalo, New York, westward north of Lake Erie to St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, with other main lines to Chicago, Toledo, Des Moines, and Omaha. By 1961 a Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary owned a controlling 62 percent of Wabash stock.
On October 15, 1964, the Wabash Railroad merged with the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (the "Nickel Plate Road") and the Norfolk and Western Railway under the name of the latter. Stock was still issued under the famous Wabash name until the early 1980’s.
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