From Electric to Steam: The Hooppole, Yorktown & Tampico Railroad

The Hooppole, Yorktown & Tampico Railroad connected its namesake cities in western Illinois, beginning service in 1909. This line connected Hooppole, IL to the rest of the US railroad network at Tampico via a junction with the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad. (Right of way)

Farmers along the route would donate right of way, and stocks began to be sold for the new company. However, not every landowner was excited for a new railroad, meaning the right of way meandered around, despite no significant physical barriers.

Nonetheless, the project improved transportation and allowed people access to major cities, like Chicago, that they wouldn't have had otherwise.

Image: Tampico Historical Society

It was originally envisioned as an electric interurban line, but ultimately ran on steam power, and at least some adjacent landowners were so unappreciative of, several sections of track were relocated slightly.

The line went bankrupt in 1943, when investor Howard Mathis took over operations. He would keep the line running for another 11 years before it was finally abandoned in 1954.


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