Wabash E8A No. 1003 with westbound Train 1, The Wabash Cannonball, arriving at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962.  A Roger Puta Photograph.

Wabash E8A No. 1012 with eastbound Train 4, The Wabash Cannonball, arriving at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962.  Photo by Roger Puta.

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Wabash E8A No. 1003 with westbound Train 1, The Wabash Cannonball, arriving at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962. A Roger Puta Photograph.

Wabash Cannon Ball
The name of this legendary train became famous with the 1904 revision of an 1882 song about the "Great Rock Island Route." Yet the name was never borne by a real train until the Wabash Railroad christened its Detroit-St. Louis day train as the Wabash Cannon Ball in 1949. The train survived until the creation of Amtrak in 1971, when it was discontinued.

On October 26 and 27, 2013, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's Nickel Plate Road 765, in conjunction with the Norfolk Southern Railway's "21st Century Steam" program, pulled a 225-mile round-trip excursion, retracing the Cannon Ball's former route between Fort Wayne and Lafayette, Indiana.

Typical Consist (1952)

Train No. 4—"Wabash Cannon Ball"
Observation Parlor Car, Drawing-room (Pullman) Car No. 20.
Dining-Lounge Car (Radio).
Chair Cars, Reclining Seats.

Train No. 1—"Wabash Cannon Ball"
Observation Parlor Car, Drawing-room (Pullman) Car No. 21.
Dining-Lounge Car (Radio).
Chair Cars, Reclining Seats.

Route

Train Number 4, September 28, 1952
Mile    City
0.0      St. Louis, MO (Union Station)
5.6      St. Louis, MO 
8.3      Granite City, IL 
21.8    Edwardsville, IL 
52.3    Litchfield, IL 
84.8    Taylorville, IL 
113.2  Decatur, IL 
140.2  Ivesdale, IL
146.3  Sadorus, IL
150.8  Tolono, IL (Champaign/Urbana via bus) 
156.6  Philo, IL
161.2  Sidney, IL
167.3  Homer, IL C
174.1  Fairmount, IL
181.0  Catlin, IL
187.1  Danville, IL C R 
209.0  Williamsport, IN 
211.9  Attica, IN 
233.3  Lafayette, IN 
250.1  Delphi, IN 
270.3  Logansport, IN
286.2  Peru, IN
299.9  Wabash, IN
312.5  Andrews, IN
318.3  Huntington, IN
342.3  Ft. Wayne, IN
391.9  Montpelier, OH
429.6  Adrian, MI
488.8  Detroit, MI (Union Sta., Fort & 3rd St)

See also:

Wabash Railroad

Named Passenger Trains

Wabash Cannonballs at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962. Photo by Roger Puta.
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Wabash E8A No. 1012 with eastbound Train 4, The Wabash Cannonball, arriving at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962. Photo by Roger Puta.
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Wabash E8A No. 1012 with Train 4, The Wabash Cannonball, at the Danville, IL station on October 28, 1962.  A Roger Puta photo.

Wabash Cannonballs at Tolono, Illinois, October 28, 1962.  Photo by Roger Puta.

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Wabash E8A No. 1012 with Train 4, The Wabash Cannonball, at the Danville, IL station on October 28, 1962. A Roger Puta photo.