The Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad was chartered in January 1847, with construction starting in late 1849. In February 1852, 73 mi (117 km) of track between Indianapolis and Terre Haute were completed. On March 6, 1865, the name was changed to the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad. On April 26, 1870, an extension was finished from Terre Haute to the Illinois state line that met up with the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute

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