I live along the old Illinois Central Railroad bed. The Illinois Traction System, the interurban railroad, ran parallel to the I.C., but those tracks are long gone.
The Illinois Traction System from Urbana to Danville.
Link to Construction of the Interurban RR.
In the 90's I started collecting scrape metal, spikes, dating nails and bits of old ties to make art work.
In the 00's they removed the I.C. tracks too. As prairie plants began to move into the railroad bed I would keep a half mile path mowed to enjoy the flowers and walk our dog.