Route 66

Atlanta, Illinois is a sleepy town with a street grid matching the diagonal of the railway that runs through it.  The town (then Newcastle) was originally sited a mile away from where the Union Pacific was laid, so they moved the town to its present location to capture the business associated with a train stop.

Route 66 (a federal highway project) was signposted through here in 1926, and it followed this same Union Pacific railroad for around 130 miles between Springfield IL and Chicago.  Interstate 55 has swallowed most of the rural sections of the original road.


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