Around 1848, artist Sheldon Peck, the first settler of the community known as Babcock's Grove, sold the land needed for a right of way to the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad. The G&CU became Chicago's pioneer railroad, and the earliest predecessor of the Chicago & North Western. When the Union Pacific began construction westward from Omaha, the C&NW was the supply line for construction materials from the east.
Lombard was adopted as the name of the village in 1869, also a significant year in the history of the Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad made possible the village's growth as a "bedroom community" for Chicago, and supplied service not only to Chicago and points east, but via the Omaha connection with the Union Pacific, to the Pacific Coast -- first to San Francisco and eventually to Los Angeles and Portland.
From before the turn of the last century to the present day, Lombard has depended on the railroad for commuter service. With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, the Chicago & North Western's line was a primary beneficiary of freight and passenger service making the connection at Council Bluffs or Omaha. The C&NW and Union Pacific merged in 1995.