Station: Chicago, IL - Central Station

Central Station was located in  downtown Chicago, at the southern end of Grant Park near Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue. It was owned by the Illinois Central Railroad but also served other railroad companies via trackage right. It opened in 1893 replacing Great Central Station" (on the site of the current Millennium Station).

The Michigan Central utilized Central station and its predecessor via a connection with the IC at Kensington, however in later years it also used LaSalle Street Station for some trains. NYC affiliate Big Four line (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis) also used this station, as did the Chicago & West Michigan (PM) line from Grand Rapids.

In 1957, the NYC switched all MC trains to LaSalle, causing the Central Station to sue the MC for breach on contract. The case was reportedly settled for $5 million.

Central Station was closed in 1972 when Amtrak rerouted trains to Union Station, and the station was demolished in 1974. [Wiki]

The station served the following railroads:

  • Big Four (CCC&St.L)
  • Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville
  • Illinois Central Railroad
  • Michigan Central Railroad

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie (Soo Line)


Time Line

1917. The MC had an operator here around-the-clock. [TRT]


The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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