The Skokie subdivision was a railroad bypass built in 1891 by the Chicago and Northwestern R.R. as an alternative to the freight route between Chicago and Milwaukee. For a portion of its route it paralleled the tracks of North Shore Line. Over the years, the Skokie subdivision saw less use and poor maintenance. It was about the same time 1963 that the North Shore Line sought to abandon its track. The Northwestern purchased the better maintained North Shore line that parallel its route. It connected to the North Shore at River Junction and Northbrook. Portion of the original Skokie subdivision line was subsequently abandoned.
Freight traffic along the newly reconstruced line decreased. It was downgraded to local use serving only a few businesses. CNW ceased service along the line in 1995. The Union Pacific (which merged with the Northwestern) filed for abandonment of the line in 2001. Most of the track was removed in 2004-2005