On August 10, 1972 the Illinois Central Railroad merged with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (reporting mark ICG). On October 30 that year the Illinois Central Gulf commuter rail crash, the company's deadliest, occurred. In the 1980s the railroad spun off most of its east-west lines and many of its redundant north-south lines, including much of the former GM&O. Most of these lines were bought by other railroads, including entirely new railroads such as the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railway, Paducah and Louisville Railway and Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad. In 1988 the railroad's then parent company IC Industries spun off its remaining rail assets and changed its name to the Whitman Corporation (which became PepsiAmericas in 2000 and acquired outright by PepsiCo in 2010). On February 29 of that year the newly separated ICG dropped the "Gulf" from its name and again became the Illinois Central Railroad.
At the end of 1980 ICG operated 8,366 miles of railroad on 13,532 miles of track; that year it reported 33,276 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 323 million passenger-miles.
Canadian National Railway: 1998–Present On February 11, 1998 the IC was purchased by the Canadian National Railway (CN) with the integration of operations beginning on July 1, 1999.
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