Railroad: New York, Chicago & St. Louis (Nickel Plate Road)

The New York, Chicago & St. Louis, nicknamed the Nickel Plate railroad), did not operate in Michigan, but for a time it owned part of the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line after acquiring the Clover Leaf railway.

The Nickel Plate main line extended between Buffalo and Chicago, via Fostoria and Fort Wayne. It was constructed in 1881 for the purpose of competing with the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern's water level route. In 1964, it merged into the larger Norfolk and Western (N&W) railway.


Built → Nickel Plate Road (NYC&StL) → Norfolk & Western


Operated: 83 years.

Created: 1881 from Buffalo to Chicago.

Became: Norfolk & Western in 1964.

Reference: [RG-1905-06]


Time Line

1905Comments from the Railroad Gazette in 1905: The New York, Chicago & St. Louis is the "weak brother" of all the Vanderbilt roads, and in particular is the Lake Shore's poor relation.

It was built simply to parallel this road and has never owned a mile of road outside of its line from Buffalo to Chicago. Incorporated in 1881, it was rapidly built, and late in October of the next  year was put to operation, The Vanderbilt's, through their Lake Shore, promptly bought control, paying $37 for the preferred and $17 for common stock. In those days of constant rate disturbances, any new line which was part of a through route caused a great deal of apprehension as to its effect on the general rate situation, and it was feared that the Nickel Plate would break up existing arrangements.