The Chessie System railroad was formed out of the combination of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), and the Western Maryland Railway (WM) in 1973. The signature symbol of the Chessie System was the "Ches-C", the outline of the sleeping kitten on a pillow which was the iconic advertising theme for the C&O passenger service where passengers were encouraged to "sleep like a kitten on the Chesapeake and Ohio".

Although operations spanned from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard, the Chessie System Michigan Division brought its trains through northern Indiana out of New Buffalo, MI, on former C&O (Pere Marquette) trackage to Porter, IN, where connection was made with its Chicago Terminal Division.