Up and Down the Monon

The Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad — better known as the Monon — once operated 603 miles of track before it was merged into the Louisville & Nashville in 1971.

It’s primary route was between Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky, with branches extended to Indianapolis, French Lick, Indiana, and Michigan City, Indiana.

However, all of the track it owned was entirely in Indiana with the Monon relying on terminal railroads to reach Chicago and Louisville.

The Monon had a circular herald of red and white, which were the colors used in the post World War II era for passenger train equipment. The logo featured the railroad’s name and slogan “The Hoosier Line” as well as the letter M and an arrowhead.

The latter was a nod to the belief that Monon was a Potowatomi Indian word meaning “swift running.”

The CSX locomotive with the Monon herald on the side of its nose came westward last week on the New Castle Subdivision.

Akron Railroad Club Vice President Todd Dillon caught up with it in Kent.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

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