The Chicago & Eastern Illinois went due south from Chicago to Evansville, Indiana. It also built a branch line to St. Louis in 1954. Until that year, its Chicago-St. Louis passenger trains, which started operating in 1904, relied on trackage rights over the Big Four (New York Central).
These first few blotters are probably from the 1920s and advertise three daily Chicago-St. Louis trains, the daylight La Salle and the overnight Curfew and even later overnight Dearborn. The La Salle took 6-1/2 hours to make the trip, while the overnight trains took even longer.
Each of these blotters advertise one of these trains while printing the schedule for the other trains in smaller print. The Curfew doesn’t have its own blotter, which either means Dale Hastin (to whom all of these blotters below) never collected one or that train was the slowest and least luxurious, so wasn’t heavily advertised.
Some time in the 1930s, C&EI supplemented the morning La Salle with the afternoon Zipper. Originally, this trains was also on a 6-1/2 hour schedule.
By 1940, C&EI was down to two trains a day on the Chicago-St. Louis route. The daylight Zipper‘s schedule had been reduced to just five hours while the Silent Knight was the overnight train. Despite its average speed of more than 65 mph, the Zipper apparently used heavyweight equipment.