The Midlothian & Blue Island Railway
by Larry Plachno
PDF File of Article Available
In the 1890s, golf, the national game of Scotland, became popular
in the United States. Several prominent Chicagoians founded the
third such country club in the suburban Chicago area on January
22, 1898. It was located on a plot of land in a remote area about
18 miles southwest of Chicago and named the Midlothian County Club
from the Sir Walter Scott book The Heart of Midlothian.
Since there were no paved roads in the area, transportation
became a major issue. Several business leaders joined together to
build a railroad to provide transportation to their new country
club. The railroad was originally planned to connect the country
club with Blue Island, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago and
the nearest location having a railroad station with an agent.
However, the Rock Island Railroad met with the railroad builders
and changed their mind. The Rock Island not only promised to
provide satisfactory service to what they called Rexford Crossings
for these prominent Chicagoians but also agreed to build the
railroad on a "cost plus" basis.
The resulting short railroad was initially steam powered and most
likely could boast of having the greatest number of millionaire
owners per mile of track. In later years the railroad was operated
electrically and was probably the only railroad ever owned by a
country club. It continued in operation until roads in the area
Click on the link below to download a PDF file covering the history of the Midlothian & Blue Island Railway.
Midlothian & Blue Island Railway