Kenosha and Rockford Railroad

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Construction of the Kenosha and Rockford Railway was encouraged by the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin and, the 75-mile line was opened on July 21, 1861. Earlier plans had called for the line to be built between Kenosha and Beloit, Wisconsin, but Beloit had shown little interest in being the western terminus of the line. At its opening, the line was called the Kenosha, Rockford and Rock Island, displaying the ambitions of the sponsoring city of kenosha which had issued bonds for the road's construction. A number of villages along the railroad sprouted and flourished due to freight and passenger connections. The main freight traffic included milk and ice from the numerous dairies and lakes along the route. Eventually the Chicago and North Western Railway purchased the Kenosha and Rockford, and the line then became known as the Kenosha Division, or KD Line, the name it holds today. When electric refrigeration became widespread in the 1930s and the need for ice diminished, that portion of the line's freight business practically vanished. In addition, dairy farmers were then increasingly turning to truck freight. The main portion of the KD Line was abandoned on May 31st, 1939, but the eastern and western portions survive for freight service in Kenosha and both freight and passenger service in Rockford. These portions were merged into the Union Pacific in April, 1995.

References

  • Behrens, P. L. (1986). The KD Line. ASIN B0006EMSSC. 
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