Posts Tagged ‘Indiana short line railroads’

Ohio Short Line Debuts Pioneer’s New Look

October 7, 2021

An Ohio short line has debuted the new locomotive livery of parent company Pioneer Lines, which earlier this year changed its name from Pioneer Railcorp.

The Napoleon Defiance & Western in western Ohio has given GP20 No. 3001 a new look featuring yellow, gray and black.

The previous Pioneer locomotive livery was black with yellow lettering and chevron nose stripes.

Pioneer also gave the new look to a GP9 on the Kansas-based Garden City Western Railway.

 “Along with the new name, Pioneer Lines redesigned its company logo and will unveil logos for each of its railroads throughout the year, which will pay homage to their history and connection to the local community,” the railroad said in a statement. “While the name has changed, the personalized and flexible service that customers have come to trust and expect remains the cornerstone of Pioneer’s business.”

ND&W 3001 is currently based in Napoleon where it serves shippers on the east end of its 58-mile system that stretches between Liberty Center, Ohio, and Woodburn, Indiana.

It also has a GP9 (105) and a two other GP20s (3054 and 2026) on its motive power roster that wear various liveries of previous operators.

Pioneer is based in Denver and operates 15 short lines in 12 states. Major commodities handled include agricultural and food products, iron and steel, plastics, chemicals, building materials and forest products.

Among the Pioneer holdings are three Indiana short lines, Elkhart & Western, Indiana Southwestern and Kendallville Terminal; and one Michigan property, Michigan Southern.

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.

Indiana Short Line Loses Lease on Track

September 7, 2021

An Indiana short line railroad will cease operations on Sept. 20 after losing its lease of track owned by Norfolk Southern.

The Connersville & New Castle, a Class III carrier, has leased track between New Castle and Beesons, on a former Nickel Plate Road branch.

NS canceled the lease and said it planned to assumed common carrier service obligations on Sept. 20.

However, NS also indicated in a recent filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that it planned to contract with another short line, the New Castle Southern, to operate the line.

The C&NC began operating the 21-mile route between Connersville and New Castle in 1997, taking it over from Indiana Hi Rail.

At its peak, Indiana Hi Rail operated 461 miles of track in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. It filed for bankruptcy protection 1994 and it assets were sold piecemeal.

Officially, the Connersville & New Castle is known as the C&NC and uses the reporting marks CNUR.

Indiana Rail Museum Leases 5 Miles of Track

August 18, 2021

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum will continue to lease five miles of track between North Judson and English Lake in Indiana.

The North Judson-based museum signed the agreement with Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad, which operates freight service over the former Chesapeake & Ohio route.

C&I owner Midwest & Bluegrass Rail purchased the line last year from the Town of North Judson although it had operated over the route for several years.

The contract gives the museum greater flexibility in using the track by simplifying operational protocols.

The museum will be responsible for track maintenance on the leased section, while the short line will retain the right to serve freight customers.

Indiana Short Line Starts Transload Facility

July 29, 2021

An Indiana Class III railroads working with a sister company has begun switching services and transloading at a northwest Indiana location.

The two companies are East Chicago Rail Terminal and East Chicago Transload. The terminal is located in East Chicago, Indiana.

The terminal now offers transloading of bulk, liquid and hazardous materials with 100 railcar spots, as well as a warehouse, storage for 200 railcars, railcar cleaning, and railcar repair.

East Chicago Rail Terminal provides 24/7/365 switching service at the facility, and interchanges with Indiana Harbor Felt for access to Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern.

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

Indiana Town Selling Rail Line

January 20, 2021

An Indiana town will sell a rail line that it owns to Midwest & Bluegrass Rail.

M&B already provides freight service on the line through its subsidiary Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad, which it acquired in 2020.

The city of North Judson has owned the rail line for nearly 17 years. The sale is expected to close within 60 days.

M&B was the highest of three bidders for the line, offering $2.7 million.

News reports indicate that M&B has a working relationship with the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, which operates over a portion of the line.

The sale agreement granted the museum a 10-year extension of its current operating agreement, as well as the right of first refusal to purchase its portion of the route should M&B choose to sell.

Two for Tuesday: Alcos on an Indiana Short Line

January 19, 2021

The Algers, Winslow & Western is a 19-mile short line railroad in southwestern Indiana whose primary purpose for much of its life has been hauling coal.

Based in Oakland City, it has been largely idle since 2004 due to mine closures.

As can be seen here, it at one time had a fleet of Alco locomotives, which are shown on June 16, 1978 in Oakland City.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

3 Vye to Buy Indiana Short Line

January 7, 2021

Three companies are seeking to buy an Indiana short line railroad owned by the city of North Judson.

One of the bidders, Midwest & Bluegrass Rail, has offered $2,725,000 for the 33-mile rail line, which also is used by the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.

M&B already operates the line as part of its acquisition of the Chesapeake & Indiana, one of four short lines it acquired in 2020.

Other bidders are only interested in the portion of the line used for freight traffic.

They include $2.3 million from agricultural co-op Co-Alliance and $1.6 million from Columbia Rail, which operates three short lines and rail terminal services at two sites in Washington state.

The town’s redevelopment commission is expected to the bids at a closed-door meeting next week.

Never Know What You’ll Find

December 27, 2020

This is the Central Indiana & Western, a short line that operates about 10 miles of track between Anderson and Lapel in central Indiana.

No, it doesn’t operate passenger service. It is apparently storing equipment owned by Mid America Rail Car Leasing.

That includes former Amtrak baggage car No. 1100, which was built by Budd in 1953 for the Santa Fe, and a former Canadian National sleeper.

The locomotive, which still has some of its former Norfolk Southern markings, is a GP38-2 that is idling on a siding by a grain elevator with the passenger equipment.

Much of the C&IW business is agriculture products, but it also serves a glass company located at the end of track in Lapel, where this image was made in early December.