Mary Rae McPherson is a longtime rail fan, growing up near the mainline of the Illinois Central Railroad in Carbondale, Illinois.
The Conductor on the town square was placed here by Station Carbondale, Incorporated through donations from those dedicated to the preservation of Carbondale's railroad history.
Carbondale Community High Schiool Student, Delano Scott, published "The Development of Carbondale as a Railroad Community" in1994 in the Illinois Historical Journal.
Once a hub from whence branch lines radiated, the town has gone from a freight hub to a passenger hub.
Carbondale was founded in the early 1850’s by Daniel Harmon Brush. The location was selected since it was approximately halfway between the two proposed Illinois Central Railroad stations in Makanda and DeSoto and was also where the road from Murphysboro to Marion crossed the railroad tracks.