The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio railroad, a Class 1 railroad, began life in February and October 1848 when it was chartered by the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. It was originally built to connect coastal Alabama at Mobile to southern Illinois and it was only in 1938 that, after several mergers, the railroad formally became the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio (GM&O). In 1940, the GM&O acquired the Alton Railroad, which connected Chicago to St Louis and Kansas City in Missouri. By 1970, it had 3,946 miles (6,350 km) of track and in the same year carried 8,285 million ton-miles of revenue freight and travelled 44 million passenger-miles. In 1972, the GM&O was merged with the Illinois Central Railroad, and became the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.
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