The original proposal for the railroad was for a 243-mile route from Danville through Hume to the Ohio River. The portion running through Hume was completed and put into service in 1881.
The north-south railroad was known by the following official and unofficial names:
As the roadbed decayed, the line carried freight at just nine-and-a-half miles per hour. Derailments were frequent nonetheless.
I.N. Coolley served as President of the railroad in its later years.
The rolling stock of the railroad consisted of one caboose and two locomotives, numbered 200 and 201, which were former switch engines purchased from the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad. Cars were rented from major railroads.
In 1886, the company was sold at foreclosure and acquired by the Chicago and Ohio River Railroad, a predecessor of the Illinois Central Railroad. However, when that company's successor, the Peoria, Decatur and Evansville Railway, went bankrupt, the line was resold in 1898 to the Indiana, Decatur and Western Railway, a predecessor of the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Western Railroad (acquired by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1927).
In 1938, the line was abandoned by legal means. The scrap iron was removed by Hyman Michaels.
George H. Culp of Montezuma, Indiana, wrote a poem, entitled "The Old Road Passes", which describes the "Old Dog River line."