Posts Tagged ‘Indiana short line railroads’

L&I Acquires 5 Miles of Track in S. Indiana

May 15, 2022

An Indiana short line railroad has picked up five more miles of track.

The Louisville & Indiana has acquired the assets and operating rights of the Southern Indiana Railway, which connnects with the L&I at Speed, Indiana, near Louisville, Kentucky.

In approving the transaction, the U.S. Surface Transportation board noted that the SIND was out of service and has no current employees.

SIND also connects with CSX at Watson, Indiana, and was once part of an interurban railway known as the Louisville & Northern Electric Traction Company. The SIND shutdown in 2020.

L&I plans to use the former SIND engine house as a maintenance-of-way facility and use surrounding property to store track material.

In a news release, the L&I said it will use SIND to potentially expand service to industrial sites.

Giving it a Rolling Inspection

March 13, 2022

The crew of the New Castle Southern job was just about done for the day. They had tied down their train in New Castle, Indiana, and were wrapping up some loose ends before going off duty and going home.

But then Norfolk Southern grain train 50Q showed up headed toward Cincinnati. The NCSR crew stopped what they were doing and got into position to conduct a roll-by inspection of the 50Q.

Nothing was amiss so the NCSR crew finished their work, got in a couple of vehicles and drove off to other things until it was time to report to duty again.

New Kid on the Block

November 24, 2021

I found this freshly painted GP15-1 in a sharp livery for the New Castle Southern Railroad in its namesake city in Indiana.

It was at the head of a cut of covered cars that had been positioned on a siding next to a city street and a portable unloading device.

The NCSR began operating in September a 21-mile former Nickel Plate Road branch between New Castle and Beesons.

The short line leases the track from Norfolk Southern which earlier this year canceled the lease held by the C&NC Railroad, a.k.a., Connersville & New Castle, which had operated the branch since Dec. 22, 1997.

At Beesons the C&NC and now the NCSR make a connection with the Big Four Terminal, which operates a former New York Central (Big Four) branch to Connersville.

A portion of that former NYC route south of Connersville is now used by the White Water Valley tourist railroad to Metamora.

NCSR No. 1671 is owned by Indiana Boxcar Corporation and I was unable to determine its heritage.

L&I Recognized as Military Friendly Employer

November 16, 2021

An Indiana short line railroad has been honored with the 2022 Military Friendly Employer designation.

Winning the designation was the Louisville & Indiana, which won the distinction based on survey and public data evaluation by G.I. Jobs Magazine of such factors as new hire retention, employee turnover, and promotion and advancement of veterans and military employees.

More than 1,000 companies participated in the review, sponsored by the Military Friendly Advisory Council.

Other railroads making the list included BNSF, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and New York & Atlantic.

L&I us owned by Anacostia Rail Holdings.

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