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Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern Railroad

Years of Service

In 1977, Conrail planned to abandon 25 miles of their ex-New York Central Railroad trackage between Kankakee and Sheldon, Illinois. Beaverville businessman, Fey Orr, purchased the line and began operating as the Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern Railroad on December 1. Initially, he used it to service his lumber business and agricultural products industry based there.

Several other abandonments occurred in the area by Class I railroads. In August of 1980, KB&S aquired 60 miles of the Milwaukee Road's "Southeastern Line" between North Hooper and Danville, Illinois. A connection named Iroquois Jct was built between the Kankakee - Sheldon segment and a small two-track engine house and company offices were built there.

The KB&S leased the Norfolk Southern (former Nickle Plate) trackage between Cheneyville, Illinois (north of Danville) and Templeton, Indiana, for two years on December 15, 1989. Conrail sold the Swanington-Sheldon (former New York Central) to KB&S in 1990 when they had basically no traffic on that segment.

Then, in 1991, KB&S railroad purchased the line outright. As the larger connecting railroads continued their efforts to downsize, KB&S Railroad continued to grow, reaching 155 miles by 1995.

While KB&S Railroad founder, Fey Orr was involved with his railroad, he left others to care of his lumber business. On July 16, 1997, he died at age 85. A 120 by 16 foot Memorial Mural appears on the Beaverville Grain and Lumber Company honoring the prominent businessman and philanthropist.



155 Owned
166 miles Operated


Six 2000 HP G.P. 38-2M Locomotives

284 4,750 cubic-foot
Covered Hoppers

Commodities Transported

Bird Seed
Agricultural Chemicals

Customers Served

Ceres Solutions
Crop. Prod. Services
Drug Plastics
Heritage FS
Donovan Fertilizer
Senesac Fertilizer
Wagner Products
ADM Growmark
Boswell Chase Grain, Inc
Chebanse Grain
Donovan Elevator
Heaton Elevator
Heritage FS
Kentland Elevator
Stewart Grain
Stockland Elevator
Tate & Lyle