Formed in 1868, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O) made a name for itself in the 20th century as a major hauler of coal. It is also well known for it's passenger service, for which the beloved marketing icon Chessie, the sleeping kitten, was developed along with the slogan "sleep like a kitten on the Chesapeake and Ohio".

Although operations spanned from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard, merging with the Pere Marquette railroad in 1947 brought the railroad through Michigan into Northern Indiana with connections to Chicago at Porter, IN.