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Articles & Local History > 1953 - Engines Gives Up Ghost & So Does Railroad

H Y & T

Lima News (Lima, OH) 1953 June 12



Chicago – The Hooppole, Yorktown and Tampico railroad died yesterday with the scratch of a fountain pen.


In the conference room of the Illinois commerce commission in the State of Illinois building, Chairman George R. PERRINE and his four associate commissiners line up and signed the order writing the railroad out of existence.


It took only a couple of pages of finely typed print to end the old campaigner.


There are those who will say the Hooppole, Yorktown and Tampico died of old age, but thruth is it died of lack of exercise.


The railroad’s one engine had only 12 miles of track on which to operate in Whiteside, Bureau, and Henry counties. In its declining days, its ancient coach did not attract many riders nor did its rolling stock get much freight.


Since 1908, the Hooppole, Yorktown and Tampico has operated – sometimes intermittently- from Hooppole, thru Yorktown to the Burlington rialroad at Tampico.


It appeared likely the Hooppole, Yorktown and Tampico would be sold for scrap since it is doubtful that even the most enthusiastic railroad fan would want to buy it.


Actually, the state order is a technicality. The Hooppole, Yorktown and Tampico stopped running some months ago when the engine, hitherto faithful, hissed and broke down. One look told anyone the engine never would run again.


President Howard E. MATHIS thereupon petitioned the state for permission to cease operations.


Truckers driving along the highway that paralells the right of way-the competing form of transportation that put the railroad out of business-probably will miss the friendly, asthmatic whistle of the engine.


“You can’t run a railroad on nostalgia-you’ve got to have revenue” MATHIS said.

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