Big Four on the Floor

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway has been gone for several decades.

Also known as the Big Four, it was acquired by the New York Central in 1906, but continued to operate as an autonomous entity through 1930.

There are few tangible relics of the Big Four left because its rolling stock has long since been relegated to the scrap yard.

Therefore, I found this relic in the collection of the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana, to be quite interesting. It’s also quite rare.

This Big Four herald was part of a tile floor of the former passenger station in Terre Haute.

The museum was able to rescue it but not before it had been largely broken up when the station was razed in 1986 to make way for a parking lot for Indiana State University.

The last passenger train to use the station was Amtrak’s National Limited between New York and Kansas City. It began its final trips on Sept. 30, 1979.

For now the tile Big Four herald sits in a wood box on the first floor of the former Haley Tower on the museum grounds.

Haley Tower once controlled the junction of the Big Four and Chicago & Eastern Illinois in Terre Haute.

A long-term project of the museum is to piece it back together. That is going to take a lot of patience and time.

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