Updated August 16th, 2014.
by Joshua Bauer
Chebanse, it’s a Potawatomi word for “The Little Duck”, but is also the name of the next stop for the Illinois Central railroad south of Kankakee. Immediately south of Otto, this town still has its IC depot in good condition, and only has one single mainline track running north and south through the town. Chebanse was founded in 1854 as they were driving in the spikes, and grew to a small town it is, but not dead. The town is very busy with traffic and daily activities, and the local CN Chicago Sub sports around 40 trains a day with 6 Amtrak trains. Sadly, passenger service has been cut off to Chebanse for decades.
Today, the Chebanse Village Hall is now housed in the old IC depot. This is still next to the tracks conveniently. A single intermediate signal stands north of Chebanse Street grade crossing, which is one of the two crossings, the other being 1st Street south of the depot. Also a nice touch is the IC Chebanse sign still standing. All telegraph poles and old roadbed from the other tracks are removed. There is no downtown gain elevator, as there is one just north between Otto and Chebanse at a spot faintly known on the railroad as Rane.
Images available below:
Track Structure in Chebanse
Track structure in Chebanse has been changed greatly over the years. There was once two track mainline through the town with a siding on the western side that started at Chebanse Street and came back to the mainline about a quarter mile south of the 1st Street crossing. Instead of the single intermediate signal north of Chebanse Street, there was a double cross over north of Chebanse Street between the two mainlines and an overhead gantry intermediate signal with one head per track facing south, and likewise facing north. Additionally, Lane Spur, a 337 foot spur track, started just north of Chebanse Street and terminated just south of it. It is also removed. Another spur south of the depot and 1st Street existed that was longer than Lane Spur, but it too was removed. Both spurs were on the east side of the tracks. Overall; two spurs, a siding, and one mainline was removed from the tracks through Chebanse.
- "Chebanse, Illinois." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.