Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Indiana Tourist Railroad Offering Caboose Rides

March 27, 2021

The Nickel Plate Express tourist railroad in Indiana will offer caboose rides on weekends in April, May and June with Easter themed events on Easter weekend.

The rides will be 30 minutes and include a snack and activities. During the Easter trips there will be an Easter egg hunt and photo opportunity with the Easter bunny. A basket will be provided for the egg hunt.

Tickets are $16 per person for the Easter trips and $12 for all other trips. Children age 3 and under ride for free.

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.

Design Firm Named for South Shore Extension

January 15, 2021

The Dallas engineering firm Jacobs has been announced as the designer of record for the West Lake Commuter Rail Corridor project in Northwest Indiana.

The 8-mile line will be build by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District between Dyer and Hammond, connecting at the latter with the South Shore Commuter line between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana.

F.H. Paschen and Ragmar Benson Joint Venture are overseeing the $935 million project, which has achieved full funding.

The line is expected to be completed in 2024 and include four new stations.

Once open the travel time between Munster/Dyer Main Street and Chicago will be 47 minutes.

Bill Would Create Indiana Passenger Rail Commission

January 15, 2021

Two Indiana lawmakers have introduced legislation to create a state rail commission to develop rail passenger service through the state.

Senate Bill 9 was introduced by Senators Dennis Kruse of Auburn and Jeff Raatz of Richmond and has been assigned to the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee.

The bill would create the Indiana Passenger Rail Commission, whose goals would be to promote and coordinate passenger rail service in the state, including facilitating development and implementation of improvements to intercity rail service, long-range plans for passenger service, and coordinating public and private agencies and organizations to develop service.

The senators were assisted in drafting the bill by the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association, which has been actively pushing for restoration of intercity rail passenger service between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, via Fort Wayne, Indiana.

South Shore Ends Mask Optional Car

November 18, 2020

The mask optional passenger car on the South Shore Line commuter trains has been discontinued in the wake of an executive order issued last week by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb that mandates the wearing of facial masks in an effort to restrain the state’s surge of COVID-19 cases.

The South Shore will now required all passengers to wear facial masks while aboard trains.

The railroad had created the mask optional car earlier this year, saying at the time that it was difficult to enforce a mandatory mask rule.

Groundbreaking Held for South Shore Extension

October 29, 2020

A ground breaking ceremony was held on Wednesday in Munster, Indiana, to mark the beginning of construction of the West Lake Corridor project.

The project will add an 8-mile, $945 million branch to the South Shore Commuter service operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The passenger-only line will connect with the existing South Shore mainline at Hammond and extend southward to Dyer.

Service is expected to be six direct roundtrips to Chicago during peak commuter travel periods and to 12 roundtrip shuttles to Hammond during off-peak times. Service is expected to begin in 2025

NICTD President Michael Noland called the start of the project a “historic day, 30 years in the making.”

Another ceremony was held in Dyer with officials and dignitaries, including Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Jane Williams, riding a “first trip” that used a parallel CSX route.

Orange Leaves, Tuscan Red Locomotive

October 18, 2020

The Louisville & Indiana operates over a former Pennsylvania Railroad line between Louisville and Indianapolis and has adapted a Pennsyesque look.

Locomotives are painted Tuscan red with gold stripes, and the company herald is shaped like a Keystone.

L&I pays tributes to the nation’s veterans in its Keystone as can be seen here on the nose of SD40M-2 No. 3002.

The 3002 is on the point of train Z550, which is returning is passing through Franklin, Indiana, en route to the yard in Columbus.

The 550 has more work to do in Columbus before the crew can go off the clock.

Of course I framed the train with those track side trees showing off their October foliage.

Indiana Industrial Park to Link to CSX

October 14, 2020

A contract has been approved by the commissioners of LaPorte County, Indiana, to construct a spur that will link the Kingsbury Industrial Park to a CSX line.

The county has been seeking for more than a decade to build the connection.

JBC Rail will receive the contract to construct 4,500 linear feet of track. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Funding was provided in part by a $1 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Officials at the 8,000-acre industrial park also are working to secure financing to build a connection to a Canadian National that lies near the opposite side of the park.

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.

You Want Shade or Weeds With Your Switcher?

July 24, 2020

The wayback machine has landed us in Jasonville, Indiana, in western Indiana coal country at Peabody Coal Company.

The company’s center cab switcher No. 5 is sitting next to a former Baltimore & Ohio Baldwin locomotive that is being cannibalized for parts.

You have a choice of admiring No. 5 with weeds or with shade.

Photographs by Robert Farkas