Quoting DwightBranch: "As has been mentioned, the main route used by the C&A/ GM&O to serve Peoria was a combination of the Jacksonville District (the original main line to St. Louis south of Bloomington, the south end of which is still used by KCS to reach St. Louis from Kansas City) ".
This is not quite correct. The C&A mainline from St.Louis to Chicago ran through Springfield, not Jacksonville. According to the book 'The Chicago and Alton Railroad' by Gene Glendinning, the fledgling St.Louis, Jacksonville, and Chicago did have the grading done in 1859 between Jacksonville and Whitehall, but it was not until 1867 that the first train ran from Bloomington to Godfrey. Lincoln's funeral train used the C&A from Chicago to Springfield.
That book also chronicles the shakeup that occurred in 1899 when Edward Harriman got control of the C&A. He already had the IC, had gotten control of the Union Pacific, and now the C&A. The book says he engineered the collapse of the St.Louis Peoria and Northern which ran from Grove (on the P&PU - 5 miles south of Peoria) through Springfield, and on toward St. Louis. In 1900, he attached the part north of Springfield to the C&A and the south part to the IC. In train orders, that junction in San Jose was called the P&N junction. (San Jose would rhyme with 'pan posie' as spoken on train orders.) San Jose then had 2 stations, one to the south of the crossing and one to the west.
So the 1901 Official Guide shows a slightly different road from what the 1893 Guide had. There were 4 trains daily from Chicago to Kansas City. Three went through Bloomington, and one went through Peoria over trackage rights, Washington to Peoria granted in 1895 and cancelled in 1931 when the B&O took over.
The 1910 Guide shows there were more shakeups in management. The C&A is now part of an empire along with the Clover Leaf (Toledo, St.Louis & Western), the Minneapolis & St. Louis, and the Iowa Central. Although it seems to be allied with the Clover Leaf, they do not intersect anywhere. (But neither did the Alton and the GM&O when they merged!) Trains in both directions terminate at Peoria, no through trains.
The Francis cutoff has been laid which the St.Louis to KC trains are using
The airline from Springfield to Murrayville has been laid. Three trains both ways daily, Chicago to KC; only one uses the airline.
When I first worked at Chenoa, I was surprised that the connector track was double tracked, although the TP&W and the GM&O had but one switch on their main lines. I was told that the C&A used to have Peoria service via the TP&W. Undoubtedly the double 'siding' allowed an engine to drop off the cars and then run around them to get back to their train.
So now there's a third way to get to Peoria. A coach and parlor or sleeper were dropped off twice a day each way. The Dwight branch also sees two trains each way plus a Chicago to Streator train.
One other change. Odd numbered trains now go south, and even numbered trains go north, as it is today. These things seldom get mentioned in books.
A 1916 Guide shows more changes. The C&A is a solo act again. Chenoa is still a drop off point for Peoria Service. Service south of Peoria has picked up; one train splits at San Jose - one part goes down the P&N to Springfield, the other part through Jacksonville and on to St. Louis.
Still 3 trains Chicago to KC but only one of them uses the airline.
Trains of the Rutland Toluca and Northern are shown.
The 1922 guide doesn't seem all that different.