Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Rail Road’

INRD Promotes Haire to Assistant VP in IT

March 8, 2022

Matt Haire has been promoted by the Indiana Rail Road to the position of assistant vice president of information technology.

He joined INRD’s IT department in 2004 as a technology specialist working on web development and internal web applications.

After advancing to IT manager and then to IT director, Haire focused on implementing technologies and solutions that would increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve service and reliability to support internal and external customers, INRD officials said in a news release.

INRD Upgrades Transloading Facility

December 21, 2021

Short line operator Indiana Rail Road said it has finished renovations to its Odon Transload Facility located in the southwest region of the state.

The work included constructing a 10-inch concrete floor, a food-grade railcar dock, and adding two truck docks.

In a news release, INRD said the additions will support handling and storage of weather-sensitive products such as particleboard, oriented strand board, plywood, and Southern yellow pine lumber.

The facility will now have 9,600 square feet of storage capacity and will enable the railroad to offer more comprehensive transloading for shippers.

INRD also has transloading facilities in Indianapolis and Merom, Indiana.

Jim Would Have Wanted to Have Been There

December 5, 2021

Train SAHW chargest through Bargersville, Indiana, on former Illinois Central tracks
Here comes Santa Claus. The 2021 Indiana Rail Road Santa train is arriving in Bargersville, Indiana.

As I was driving to Bargersville, Indiana, on Friday, Dec. 3, I thought about the late Jim Mastromatteo.

He had developed an interest in the Indiana Rail Road and as far as I know never had the opportunity to see its operations in person.

Jim had planned to travel with Ron McElrath to Indiana in 2020 to railfan the INRD but that trip never came about.

My purpose in going to Bargersville was to see two INRD trains. The regular daily except Saturday SAHW (Senate Avenue yard Indianapolis to Hiawatha Yard in Jasonville) train was operating about two hours earlier on this day because following it that afternoon would be the annual Santa train.

INRD has run a Santa train since 1989 although it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bargersville, an exurb of Indianapolis, would be the first stop for the 2021 Santa train, which make 12 stops in communities in Indiana and Illinois along the INRD system.

The SAHW showed up just before 1 p.m. with its usual consist of double-stacked containers and manifest freight. On the point was INRD’s 25th anniversary tribute SD9043MAC No. 9025.

The Santa train showed up shortly after its scheduled 4:15 p.m. arrival time It had SD40-2 Nos. 4005 – INRD’s tribute to veterans unit – and No. 4002, the tribute to first responders unit.

The train had two passenger cars lettered for the Santa Fe and a caboose from which Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted and waved to the hundreds of children and their parents who had turned out.

INRD Bringing Back Santa Train

October 7, 2021

Indiana Rail Road’s annual Santa Train will operate on Dec. 3-5, bringing Christmas joy to small towns and villages in Indiana and Illinois.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some changes have been made in the operation of the train although many traditions have been preserved.

INRD said in news release that Santa’s elves will arrive ahead of the train to prepare for its arrival.

Families will be able to watch the train arrive and Santa will appear on the back of a newly-restored caboose.

Children will still be able to mail letters to Santa via the train’s North Pole Express Mailbox.

However, visitors will not be permitted to board the train or visit with Santa due to health, security and safety concerns, INRD officials said.

The annual Santa train is a volunteer project of IND employees. It did not run in 2020 due to the pandemic. The train first operated in 1989.

“It’s great that we are able to bring this tradition back,” Indiana Rail Road CEO Dewayne Swindall said in a statement. “The Santa Train means as much to INRD employees as it does the communities in which we operate.”

Those who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within two weeks of the Santa Train’s operation  and those showing COVID symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or cold- or flu-like symptoms are asked to refrain from attending the event.

INRD said guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities in close contact with those who are not fully vaccinated.

INRD Begins Intermodal Terminal Expansion

September 21, 2021

The Indiana Rail Road said it has started the first phase of a project to expand its intermodal services.

The short line railroad based in Indianapolis recently acquired 12 acres of land to expand its intermodal yard in Indianapolis.

This will allow for additional container parking capacity and flexibility and include an onsite chassis depot.

In a news release, INRD said the initial phase involves ground preparation, installation of concrete inbound-outbound traffic lanes with an innovative kiosk gate system for expedited handling.

Future work will include high security fencing, the establishment of rear access service roads, installation of low energy consumption lighting, and construction of two new loading pad tracks.

INRD said the intermodal expansion project is expected to be completed in 2023.

The intermodal terminal opened in 2013 and handled 1,450 containers in its first year.

This year, the terminal is projected to move more than 40,000 containers and recently began a new grain export operation with International Feed.

INRD Promotes 3 to VP Level Positions

September 17, 2021

Indiana Rail Road this week promoted three managers to vice presidential positions.

Brian R. Jonaitis is now assistant vice president of business development, Shae M. LeDune is assistant vice president of human resources, and Josh T. Ward was named assistant vice president and controller.

Jonaitis joined INRD’s sales and marketing staff in 2005, while LeDune joined the railroad in 2009 before moving to the human resources department 2017. Ward joined the railroad as an accountant in 2003. 

INRD Completes Solar Project

July 31, 2021

The Indiana Rail Road said it has completed the installation of a rooftop solar project at its Indianapolis headquarters.

In a news release, INRD said the solar panels provide renewable, clean energy and will help lower costs.

INRD said it has several other sustainability initiatives in place, including a LED lighting retrofitting program, investments in technological advances in fuel efficiency and a commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of operations.

INRD Names New President and CEO

June 14, 2021

The Indiana Rail Road has named Dewayne Swindall as its next president and CEO.

He replaces Peter Mills, who is leaving the company. Mills has headed INRD since July 2015.

Swindall is a former general superintendent at Canadian National who began his railroad career as a conductor and rose through a number of management positions with increasing responsibility.

He also worked for nine years as an executive at short line holding company Genesee & Wyoming.

Laying Ballast

June 13, 2021

We were on our way home as I approached the crossing of the Indiana Rail Road in Greenwood on County Line Road in suburban Indianapolis.

I didn’t expect to see an INRD train because I knew that the only two trains a day on this line operate later in the day.

So I was quite surprised to look left and see an INRD SD40-2 on the point of a work train laying ballast.

I doubled back and parked off to the side of a street aptly named Railroad Avenue that runs parallel to the tracks. I made the image with my phone.

Although not visible, a work gang was spreading the ballast behind the train.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Catching Train SAHW on the Indiana Rail Road

September 25, 2020

Indiana Rail Road train SAHW rounds the curve in Morgantown, Indiana. The railroad’s SD90MACs feature a striking red-based livery.

If you are unfamiliar with the Indiana Rail Road, perhaps the best train to chase is SAHW, a daily except Saturday run from Indianapolis (Senate Avenue Yard) to Jasonville (Hiawatha Yard).

The crew is called at Senate Avenue at 2 p.m. and the train leaves town around 2:30 p.m.

There are numerous locations to photograph the line, including the fabled Tulip Trestle in rural Greene County where the SAHW usually arrives about 5 p.m.

It was on that trestle that I first encountered the SAHW in early August.

I had been out day with two other guys and in true pandemic railfanning fashion we all drove our own vehicles.

One of the guys had a contact at the INRD and had found out what trains would be operating and when.

By the time we got to Tulip Trestle we had already seen four other INRD trains.

The normal operating procedure is for the SAHW to meet its counterpart the HWSA at Switz City.

So if you hang around Tulip Trestle after catching the SAHW, you should get the HWSA an hour or so later.

Both trains are typically pulled by two-unit sets of SD9043MACs painted in an attractive red and white livery.

The trains also carry double-stacked containers that INRD interchanges with Canadian National and which travel between Indianapolis and the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia for export.

The containers are interchanged between INRD and CN in Newton, Illinois. Every time I’ve seen the HWSA there has been a long string of containers so this business must be fairly robust.

The INRD line between Indianapolis and Newton is a former Illinois Central branch line that was in danger of being abandoned before the INRD acquired it in 1986.

Another good place to photograph the SAHW is in Bargersville. The tracks come through the middle of town in a wide swath of right of way and there is public parking on the west side next to the tracks.

There are even grain facilities to use as photo backdrops.

I’m still getting to know the INRD and where there are good photo locations, but things are off to a promising start.

Of course I wasn’t thinking that the first time I tried to catch the SAHW in Bargersville.

I arrived by 2:30 p.m. and had been told that the train should pass through around 3:15 p.m. I waited, and waited and waited, finally giving up at 4 p.m.

I would later learn that something had gone wrong that day and the SAHW didn’t get out of Senate Avenue Yard until 5 p.m.

My luck with the train since then has been much better.

If you just want to see the SAHW you can always enjoy a brew or two along with a meal on the deck of Taxman Brewing Company in Bargerville in mid afternoon next to the INRD tracks. Expect the train to arrive shortly after 3 p.m.

Crossing on Tulip Trestle in Greene County.

Passing through Morgantown, Indiana, located 30 miles south of Indianapolis.


Getting a bonus in Bargersville. The SAHW passes a work train with an SD40-2 and a CSX Jordan spreader that is sitting on a siding for the weekend.

Bargersville features a grain elevator to use as a backdrop.