First and Foremost, a Railroad Town
Walnut was formed as a railroad stop on the CRIP mainline in 1869. For generations, the sound of the train whistle was second-nature to our citizens. In 1953, the Rock Island decided to bypass Marne, Walnut and Avoca with a new mainline, and this had a tremendous effect on our town. Until 1966 when train service was discontinued entirely, we had a line from Walnut to Avoca/Hancock/Harlan. Since 1966, the train whistle is only a memory in Walnut.