These pages are devoted to the Hooppole, Yorktown & Tampico Railroad (HY&T), a grain hauling shortline railroad in northwest Illinois. The Company went out of business on May 11, 1953.  Pictured here are a few photographs which I have accumulated along with a detailed illustration of the railroad’s route.

The Tampico Historical Society has made a considerable effort to detail this railroad, so the pages of this site are a mere complement to that work which appears on their site. Please see:

Predecessor Companies

References point to the most recent corporate incarnation of the HY&T as having predecessor companies, with the suggestion that the railroad’s right of way was originally intended to be for an electric interurban.  Electric railway traction was an interesting transportation phenomenon which encompasses streetcars, trolleys, interurbans, subway or rapid transit cars. It began in the 1880’s and reached its apex in the 1920’s, although there are still extant systems in the United States.  In many cases, the street car lines and interurban lines were owned by the local electricity generator as an adjunct to their commercial electrical service. Every worthwhile city had a streetcar line, and many were connected to other worthwhile cities by the electrified interurban line.  The presence of traction systems was strongest in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. With the improvement of highways, traction’s market evaporated and many of these companies were dissolved. As was dryly noted in an interurban book, the traction companies were successful only when their competition (the horse and buggy) traveled at less than 20 miles per hour.

In looking at Volume 116 of the ICC’s valuation reports, dated September - November, 1926 (pages 437 & 438), it is apparent that the Galesburg, Rockford & Northern was the predecessor company. 

At the time of the valuation, 1925, the GR&N had three freight cars, one passenger car and a leased locomotive.

The ICC Valuation Report also gives a brief corporate history:

The Tampico Historical Society’s site also references the construction role of the Dixon, Rock Falls and Southwestern, which is corroborated by the ICC report:

Online references have called the HY&T “Illinois’ shortest railroad”, but the Galesburg & Great Eastern, at 10.5 miles, is shorter than the HY&T.  In any case, the title of shortest railroad in Illinois would seem to rightly belong to the 2 1/2 mile long Hanover Railway, which connected Hanover, Illinois to the Chicago & Great Western at Elizabeth, Illinois.

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