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.
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.
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.
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.
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.