Illinois Commerce Commission: Railroad Passenger Tariff Files, 1911-1971
[Back to Formatted Version]
Brief Description:

Files include reports concerning passenger tariffs made to the commission by railroad companies, electric rail train companies, short line railroad companies, and hired agents acting on behalf of rail companies. Electric lines include such ones as the Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee Railway and the Illinois Traction System. Short lines include such ones as the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway Company and the Rock Island Southern Railway Company. Reports show fares charged passengers for regularly scheduled routes, special commuter packages, and special excursions for in-state travel.

Special excursions were offered for such events as the state fair, holidays (e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day), chautauquas, college football games, company picnics, benevolent and fraternal events (e.g., Elk, Moose, Knights of Columbus, Masons, Shriners, Odd Fellows), political conventions, school children trips, revivals, and the Century of Progress Exposition at Chicago, 1933. Special excursions were considerably curtailed during World War One and World War Two but continued nearly unabated throughout the Great Depression. These excursions offered reduced rates for limited time periods.

Included with passenger tariffs were rates for dairy products and bulk bundles of newspapers which were carried in baggage cars on passenger trains. Also included are fare schedules for carrying circus, caravan, and menagerie shows which provided their own cars but were pulled by railroad locomotives along company tracks and which were staffed by company engineers, firemen, conductors, and switchmen.

Railroad companies contracted with agents to report joint passenger tariffs. Reports show the date to take effect, the number of the previous tariff superseded, the new tariff number, the agent’s name and address, names of issuing carriers and participating carriers, reference to Illinois regulation requiring the report, reference to other state regulation requiring the report (i.e., Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming), and tables showing fares connecting points from throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In all instances some of those points include Illinois locations. Fares are given for one-way and round-trip passages and for first class and coach seating. Pullman fares are listed separately under the Pullman Car Company, 1911-1968, which is filed with the short line companies. Bulk joint tariff schedules were prepared periodically by agents for multiple companies. Between issuances of bulk schedules amendments to them were filed as well.

Held at:
Illinois State Archives
M. C. Norton Building
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone: 217-782-3492
Fax: 217-524-3930
Record Series Number: 402/037
Created by: Illinois Commerce Commission - RG 402
Volume: 37.5 Cubic Feet
Arrangement: Mixed. By type—railroad company, electric railroad company, short line railroad company, agent joint passenger reports—and roughly alphabetical by company or agent name thereunder
Biographical Note for Illinois Commerce Commission - RG 402:

The Railroad and Warehouse Commission was created in 1871 to supervise the railroad and warehouse business in Illinois (L. 1871, p. 618). The Governor appointed three commissioners to initiate proceedings against railroad and warehouse companies that violated the law, to hear and decide applications for the cancellation of warehouse licenses, to study the annual reports of railroads, and to report annually to the Governor on the commission's activities and on the operations of railroads and warehouses in the state. The commission also was empowered to examine any accounts or other records relating to the management of railroads and warehouses, to establish rules and regulations for the inspection of grain, to fix rates for grain inspection, and to direct the activities of the Chief Inspector of Grain. In 1873 an appeals committee was appointed by the commission to handle complaints on grain inspection and in 1907 the commission was empowered to issue warehouse licenses (L. 1873, p. 141; L. 1907, p. 491).

In 1911 the commission's jurisdiction was expanded to include the supervision of express companies, carriers by water, and sleeping car companies. The commission further was authorized to investigate railroad accidents that resulted in injury or loss of life, to establish rates and regulations concerning the transportation of persons or property, and to conduct investigations and hearings on the operation of public utilities (L. 1911, p. 464).

The Railroad and Warehouse Commission was succeeded in 1913 by the Public Utilities Commission (L. 1913, p. 459). The new five-member commission was to supervise all public utilities (i.e., any company providing transportation of persons or property, conveying oil or gas by pipeline, transmitting telephone or telegraph messages, or producing, storing, or selling heat, light, electricity, or water). The commission was authorized to collect fees for providing certified copies of their proceedings, orders, and reports; to establish a uniform system of accounts to be kept by public utilities; and to regulate the issuance of stocks, bonds, and other securities, rate increases, the crossing of railroad tracks, and the terms of contracts, sales, and leases between utilities. The commission also proposed legislation and conducted hearings relative to pending legislation connected with the management of public utilities.

The Civil Administrative Code of 1917 made the Public Utilities Commission an independent unit within the Department of Trade and Commerce. The Chief Inspector of Grain and all warehouse registrars also were placed within the Department of Trade and Commerce. In 1921 the Illinois Commerce Commission succeeded to the powers and responsibilities of the Public Utilities Commission and when the Department of Trade and Commerce was abolished in 1933 the commission continued to operate independently (L. 1921, p. 702). The duties of the Chief Inspector of Grain were transferred to the Department of Agriculture although the rules and regulations for grain inspection still were established by the Commerce Commission. That duty also was transferred to the Department of Agriculture in 1951. (L. 1951, p. 1753).

Access Restrictions: None
Subject Index
Agricultural Products
Benevolent Societies
Century of Progress Exposition
Chautauqua Meetings
Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee Railway
Electric Railroads
Elks Lodge
Fraternal Orders
Great Depression
Illinois Commerce Commission
Illinois Traction System
Independence Day
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Knights of Columbus
Labor Day
Memorial Day
Moose International
New Mexico
North Dakota
Passenger Rates
Peoria and Pekin Union Railway
Political Conventions
Pullman Company
Railroad Cars
Railroad Locomotives
Railroad Rates
Rock Island Southern Railway
South Dakota
State Fair
Thanksgiving Day
Washington (State)
World's Fairs
World War I
World War II
Wyoming (State)
PreferredCitation: Illinois Commerce Commission, "Railroad Passenger Tariff Files," Record Series 402.037, Illinois State Archives.