Posts Tagged ‘CSX Hoosier Subdivision’

Permanent Stop Indication at Milepost 272

October 3, 2020

The Monon Railroad was known for its semaphore signals, some of which lasted well into the 21st century.

CSX replaced the last working semaphores on the north end of the ex-Monon north of Crawfrodsville, Indiana, with modern signals in December 2010.

But semaphores remained in place on the south end of the ex-Monon on the CSX Hoosier Subdivision.

However, CSX stopped using the Hoosier Sub in 2009 aside from a short segment of track in New Albany, Indiana, just north of Louisville.

In December 2017 CSX filed with the Surface Transportation Board for authority to abandon most of the Hoosier Sub and that request was granted.

In the meantime, some of the semaphore blades on the Hoosier Sub had been stolen.

Online reports indicate that the last pair of blades still intact on their masts were located in Campbellsburg, Indiana.

On a recent Sunday during an expedition to see what is left of the Hoosier Sub I found those blades still set to a stop indication in both direction in Campbellsburg.

The tracks are still in place, although passing sidings had been removed.

Indiana Trail Funds has indicated its interest in converting the former Monon right of way into a trail.

At some point a salvage company will pull up these rails and take down these signals which over the years saw trains of the Monon, Louisville & Nashville, Amtrak, Seaboard System, Milwaukee Road, Soo Line and the Indiana Rail Road pass by.

Today they stand displaying in essence a permanent stop indication.

CSX to Restore Service to Section of Ex-Monon

January 23, 2020

A recent online report said CSX will restore service to a four-mile portion of the former Monon Railroad in New Albany, Indiana.

The segment in question is between the K&I Bridge over the Ohio River to North Vernia (Grant Line Road Crossing).

The carrier plans to provide service to Northwest Ordinance Distilling, which is owned by the Sazerac Company.

Northwest Ordinance opened in November 2018 in a facility that once hosted a Pillsbury Prepared Dough Products Plant. The Pillsbury plant closed several years ago.

The former Monon line in question, known as the Hoosier Subdivision, has been abandoned from North Vernia to Cloverdale, Indiana.

The Hoosier Sub was last used as a through route by the Indiana Rail Road, which access it via a connection from a former Milwaukee Road branch between Terre Haute and Bedford, Indiana.

The former Milwaukee Road line was abandoned after the INDR ceased using it and has been converted into a hiking and biking trail.

CSX will reach what remains of the Hoosier Sub on trackage rights on Norfolk Southern in Louisville and over the K&I bridge.

The Hoosier Sub still had several semaphore signals in place when it last lasted used.

Ex-Monon Segment May Become Trail

January 10, 2018

The south end of the former Monon Railroad in Southern Indiana might become a trail.

Indiana Trail Funds has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to order CSX to do nothing more to a 62-mile segment of the ex-Monon other than remove the rails, ties and signal systems.

CSX last month filed a letter of exemption with the STB to abandon the ex-Monon between milepost 251.7 (about midway between Bedford and Mitchell) and milepost 314 (Vernia) near New Albany.

In response to the Indiana Trail petition, CSX said it was willing to negotiate with the group for possible interim trail use/rail banking.

In a report to the STB, CSX said no trains have moved over the line for more than two years and its only activity has been car storage.

CSX said it was unlikely any rail-oriented businesses would locate on the line, which it said it does not need for operational purposes.

The line in question is the Hoosier Subdivision, which has been abandoned north of Bedford.

It is not clear why CSX is not seeking to abandon any track within Bedford. The only other railroad to serve Bedford, a branch of the former Milwaukee Road that extended to Terre Haute, Indiana, has been abandoned and converted into a trail.

If the abandonment of the Hoosier Subdivision is approved, Bedford would be cut off from the nation’s rail system.

The STB had in May 2010 gave CSX approval to cease providing rail service on the Hoosier Sub. It had been used under trackage rights granted to the Indiana Rail Road to reach Louisville, Kentucky, but that company has since ceased exercising those rights.

CSX would continue to own 3.7 miles of the ex-Monon in New Albany that connects to Norfolk Southern and the former Kentucky & Indiana Terminal.

In its report to the STB, CSX said its records show there are 21 railroad-owned structures on the line more that are more than 50 years old and may be eligible for listing on the National Register. All of them are bridges.

Records show the main track was rebuilt in the 1980s. At one time the Monon extended between Louisville and Chicago with branches to Michigan City, Indiana, and Indianapolis that diverged at the town of Monon.

CSX continues to use the ex-Monon between Cloverdale and Munster, Indiana. Amtrak’s Cardinal and Hoosier State use the line between Crawfordsville and Munster.

INRD Seeks to Give up Trackage Rights

June 28, 2017

In what may be the first step toward abandonment of the CSX Hoosier Subdivision in Southern Indiana, the Indiana Rail Road is seeking regulatory approval to end its trackage rights on the line.

INRD was the last user of the route, but has not moved traffic over for more than two years.

In is filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, INRD said its network has been physically disconnected from the Hoosier Sub after it abandoned 22.8 miles of a former Milwaukee Road line in 2011 between Bedford and Crane, Indiana.

The Hoosier Sub, which was once part of the Chicago-Louisville, Kentucky, route of the Monon, extends for 72 miles between Bedford and New Albany, Indiana.

Most of the Hoosier Sub is out of service except for a portion of it in the New Albany region.

If the STB grants the INRD’s petition, the trackage rights would be discontinued on July 27.

CSX decommissioned the Hoosier Sub in November 2010 after a trestle over the White River south of Bedford burned, in what officials reported to be a suspicious blaze.

There were plans for the State of Indiana to buy the line but a local port authority was unable to raise enough money for that purpose.

The ex-Monon has been abandoned and the track removed between Bedford and Cloverdale, Indiana.

Then and Now on the B&O St. Louis Line

December 22, 2014

mitchell2-2

Michell-May 17, 2014-2

Here is a little then and now at Mitchell, Ind. This small town in southern Indiana was the crossing of the Baltimore & Ohio’s line between Cincinnati and St. Louis with the Monon’s line between Chicago and Louisville, Ky. The B&O controlled the interlocking from its passenger depot east of the crossing. The Monon had its own passenger station.

The top photograph was made in July 1992. By now, both the Monon and B&O routes were controlled by CSX, which still had an operator in the depot to operate the interlocking.

Both photographs are looking eastward from the grade crossing just west of the diamond. The local is on the siding heading eastward. It might be getting ready to work the small yard to the east of the station. Note the color position light signal mounted on a cantilever.

If you look past the depot, you’ll see another CPL for eastward movements. At the time, there was a sign by that signal indicating that it was the start of the Medora block. Those CPLs were once ubiquitous on B&O mainlines.

Although not obvious, major changes are coming to the ex-Monon. The last through trains between Chicago and Louisville over this route, R590 and R591, made their last trips through here in late May of 1992, although they continued to operate on the north end.

In less than a year, CSX will abandon the ex-Monon between Bloomington and Bedford, thus severing the line as a through route. Local service was still being maintained to Bedford when the 1992 photograph was made. CSX also had the option of operating trains north out of Louisville across the Mitchell diamonds and then backing onto the ex-B&O to go west to St. Louis. They would indeed do this for a while.

The bottom photo was made last May. The ex-Monon tracks are still in place, yet haven’t been used since 2009 when CSX ceased providing local service on what is called the Hoosier Subdivision except right around New Albany, Ind. That same year the Indiana Rail Road stopped operating trains over the ex-Monon to Louisville. Therefore, the ex-Monon tracks in Mitchell collect rust as they await disposition.

All of the B&O CPL signals are gone, replaced by what appear to be older signal heads placed on modern masts. The CPLs that once stood east of the depot have been removed.

Yet, there is much that has not changed about this scene. The ex-B&O is still double track through town and the old B&O depot is still in place. The siding on the ex-B&O looks rather rusty, suggesting it sees little use. The connection between the ex-Monon and ex-B&O is still in place.

I’m not sure what the traffic count is on the ex-B&O but bits and pieces I’ve seen on railfan chat lists leads me to believe that few trains use this route at this location. I wonder if any Cincinnati-St. Louis trains pass through here. I believe that much of that traffic takes the former Conrail route via Indianapolis to the north.

Whatever the case, the future of both of these rail lines seems murky as best.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Semaphore Blades Stolen in Indiana

September 25, 2014

A report on a chat list devoted to discussing railroads in Indiana says that seven semaphore signal were stolen recently from the fallow CSX Hoosier Subdivision.

The thefts occurred near Orleans and Smedley on a portion of the line that has been out of service since July 2009. CSX ceased freight operations on most of the Hoosier Sub the same year except for a segment in the New Albany area near Louisville, Ky.

The thieves reportedly wore hard hats and were driving a white truck. Police interviewed neighbors in the area where the blades were taken and other residents living near the line were warned to watch out for suspicious activity.

The Hoosier Sub is the remains of the south end of the former Monon. CSX abandoned the ex-Monon between Bedford and Bloomington in 1993, which effectively severed the line as a Chicago-Louisville route.

CSX separated the ex-Monon into the Hoosier Sub between Bedford and New Albany and the Monon Subdivision between Munster and Cloverdale, Ind. The latter is primarily used north of Crawfordsville by CSX freights and Amtrak’s Cardinal and Hoosier State.