Posts Tagged ‘Michigan City Indiana’

Buses Replace Trains on South Shore Due to Weather

February 7, 2021

Severe winter weather has prompted the South Shore Line to substitute buses for trains between South Bend, Indiana, and the Michigan City Carroll Avenue station.

The bus substitution began Saturday night and was to last through at least Sunday and Monday due to forecasts of freezing rain, snow, and extreme low temperatures.

Service to the Hudson Lake station east of Michigan City is suspended while the bus substitution is in effect.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which oversees the South Shore, said it will evaluate weather conditions on Monday before determining if the bus substitution will continue into Tuesday.

Work to Begin Soon on South Shore Project

January 9, 2021

Construction on the double-track project of the South Shore Line is expected to begin soon now that the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has received a $173 million federal grant.

The project will add a 26.6-mile second mainline for South Shore trains between between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana.

Total cost of the project is expected to be $491 million. The work will include construction of a new station in Michigan City and ending the street running there.

“Reduced travel time and more frequent service options have been top priorities for those who rely on South Shore Line service,” said NICTD President Mike Noland in a statement.

South Shore Two for Tuesday From Michigan City

January 5, 2021

The wayback machine has landed us in Michigan City, Indiana on March 30, 1969. In the top image here are three Chicago, South Shore & South Bend boxcabs and a Chesapeake & Ohio cow/calf/calf set along with other interesting equipment.

In the bottom image CSS&SB 702 and some other units are sitting in the sun.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Indiana City Eyes Property Acquisition for South Shore Double Tracking Project

December 15, 2020

The Michigan City (Indiana) city council may institute eminent domain proceedings to complete the land acquisition needed for the South Shore Line’s double track project.

The project will change the existing single-track street running of the South Shore in Michigan City.

The city is eying undertaking legal action to acquire two parcels of property that will be used to construct a station and parking garage.

The city attorney said legal action is likely to be needed because one property owner has set an asking price that is well beyond the assessed value of the property.

The other property owner has not responded to any inquiries about selling the property.

The project envisions creating two ballasted tracks on land adjacent to the current street running on 10th Street and closing 21 grade crossing.

Work will include adding 16.9 miles of second track between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

Contract Awarded in South Shore Project

December 2, 2020

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District Board of Trustees has approved a $2.7 million contract for demolition work in Michigan City, Indiana, that is part of a project to double-track the South Shore commuter line.

Green Demolition of Chicago won the contract that is part of the project to build 17 miles of second main and remake Michigan City’s signature street running, including closing 21 grade crossings.

The new track, which will be laid between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana, includes four new bridges and eight new station platforms.

Work is expected to begin next summer if NITCD receives a Federal Transit Administration grant as expected in early 2021.

South Shore Two for Tuesday

November 24, 2020

The South Shore Line in Indiana is the nation’s largest survivor of the interurban era.

It’s actually two operations, both of which use the South Shore name. The freight railroad operates with diesel locomotives whereas the passenger trains still use electric power and are overseen by a public transit agency.

But for today’s two for Tuesday feature, we’ll climb aboard the wayback machine to go to the era when the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad operated freight and passenger trains alike under wire.

In the top image, we are looking down on the South Shore shops in Michigan City, Indiana, sometime between 1969 and 1972.

At that time the older style interurban cars were still in use.

The bottom image was also made in Michigan City but a few years earlier and showcases the electric motors the railroad still used in the early 1970s.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Vintage South Shore in Michigan City

February 18, 2020

Chicago South Shore & South Bend car No. 34 is shown in the early 1970s in Michigan City, Indiana.

America’s last surviving interurban railway still uses these tracks and the freight operations of the South Shore still use a yard in Michigan City.

But the passenger equipment seen here has since been replaced.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

South Shore Gets OK on Double Track Project

November 13, 2018

The South Shore line received federal approval last week to continue to develop double track between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana.

The Federal Transit Administration issued a finding of no significant impact for the $312 million project, which includes realigning the track in parts of Michigan City, closing 21 grade crossings and upgrading various stations.

The FTA, which conducted an environmental assessment of the project, is expected to fund half of the project cost through grants.

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, the state of Indiana and local communities will fund the other cots.

The South Shore is overseen by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

Memorial Day Weekend in Indiana: Part 2

June 19, 2018

Memorial Day would be a day of passenger trains during our holiday weekend trek to northern Indiana, at least for the morning and early afternoon hours.

It dawned much like Sunday had, sunny and warm.

Temperatures today would again top 90 degrees, but without a great deal of humidity. The sky was blue and not glazed over like you get on many a hot summer day.

After our free breakfast we were heading north on U.S. 421 toward Lake Michigan.

The Chicago South Shore & South Bend runs down the middle of 11th Street in downtown Michigan City. Its downtown station is about a half block east of U.S. 421 on 11th Street

As we approached, the first morning westbound went past on its way to Chicago. There will be plenty more.

The next train on our list was the morning Wolverine (Amtrak No. 350) to Detroit. We set up at the road crossing to the east of the turn bridge over Trail Creek and waited for it to show.

It was a couple of minutes behind schedule, which was not a problem because we had a little time before the next South Shore train.

We parked on 11th Street at the S curve by the church and waited. A few minutes later our quarry was heard approaching.

The S curve is a nice shot because of the uniqueness of the shot. Street running on a curve is not too common.

South Shore trains today were carrying seven to nine cars. They must have expected some large crowds this holiday.

The next move was another South Shore, this time westbound. It and a westbound Amtrak Wolverine were due about the same time. Would we get lucky and get both?

The South Shore showed up on time and made its station stop on 11th Street in front of the old passenger station.

As they departed, we quickly headed west hoping to catch Amtrak near the diamonds where the Amtrak Michigan Line crosses the South Shore.

We were too late. Amtrak was on time and rolled past. But, this meant the South Shore train had to stop for just long enough that we were able to get ahead on the other side of the diamond.

On the west side of the diamonds, they run down the center of 10th Street. This neighborhood is a lot rougher than on 11th Street, although not by much.

We set up a shot with only a few seconds to spare; the train was in my rear view mirror.

With that flurry out of the way, it was back to the Amtrak station to kill some time before the next Amtrak was due.

We passed the time watching boats leaving the small harbor that is located where Trail Creek hits the lake. A good number of sail boats were going out on the water today. It was a bit windy, so they should have good sailing.

The siren sounded on the swing bridge over Trail Creek that takes the Amtrak Line over that waterway. The bridge was closing; a train was getting close.

This move was for the Blue Water from Port Huron, Michigan. It doesn’t stop here, so it blasted past at track speed, about 40 mph I would say, not the 110 mph that Detroit-bound trains do once they get into Michigan.

I was surprised to see a locomotive on both ends of the train. They must not wye the train at Port. Huron anymore.

It was now approaching noon, so it was off to lunch at Jimmy John’s right across the street from the Super 8 where we stayed.

Back to trackside after lunch, we were again staking out the South Shore for one each way.

When we left the shot at the east end of the swing bridge earlier in the day, I thought it might be possible to shoot from the adjacent U.S. 12 bridge and get a broadside of an Amtrak on the swing bridge.

We parked near the road bridge and walked up on the sidewalk. From directly above the creek, you can get the entire Amtrak train in the photo.

An interesting scene, it would have been more interesting if we would have had some boats or kayaks in the water at train time.

Plenty of them were around before the Amtraker got there.

The Wolverine rolled by a few minutes later than we expected. The South Shore had an eastbound due in just a few minutes.

We headed south after shooting Amtrak and the South Shore train was pulling into the station. We turned down 9th Street and went down a couple of blocks and then swung down to 11th Street.

They whistled off just as I parked the Jeep. We had only seconds to get our shot lined up, but we got it.

We now had a decision to make. It would be several hours before any more passenger trains were due. So do we stay or start heading back, stopping somewhere along the way to catch more action?

Robert had been monitoring the progress, or lack thereof, of the Penn Central heritage unit all weekend.

It came through Cleveland about the time we left for Indiana, but seemed to disappear somewhere near Toledo.

It was on a loaded coal train heading from the former Monongahela to Wisconsin Electric Power.

It was finally on the move west again and had been spotted in South Bend just a few minutes ago.

If we headed south to Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line, we might get it. So we were off to see the train, using U.S. 35 to U.S. 20 out of Michigan City.

We were in Rolling Prairie in just a few minutes. We had our sights on the new elevator at New Carlisle. This elevator sets up well for photos of afternoon westbounds.

Just after passing over the tracks in Rolling Prairie, we heard the PC, on train 552, call the signal at MP 452.

We didn’t understand what indication he said he had, but the train was close. Rolling Prairie is at about MP 455.

I turned down the first road back to the tracks after hearing the radio transmission. We came up on a crossing that we had visited last Labor Day weekend.

The tracks are elevated about the rolling farmland, which is where the town of Rolling Prairie got its name.

The signal we could see to the west at MP 453 was all red. Something may have just gone by. Something did; it was westbound mixed freight 35E. The 552 with the PC had caught up to it and was stopped at MP 452.

As we stood and waited, we could hear locomotives rumbling to the east. The 552 was moving west at restricted speed.

We watched as the signal at MP 453 went from restricting to approach, to advance approach to clear by the time the 552 got to us.

Not bad; the PC was in perfect light at a neat location. But we’re greedy, so we went for two.

Back to U.S. 20 we went, retracing our steps to the overpass at Rolling Prairie. We lensed the train again, which by this time was back up to track speed.

Not to be out done, the 552 with the PC passed the 16G between MP 453 and Rolling Prairie; the 16G was lead by the Virginian H unit.

After our brief but successful chase, we finally made it to New Carlisle. Much to our chagrin, nothing else was moving west at this time.

We finally threw in the towel and began the long trek back home to Cleveland.

Article by Marty Surdyk

Snow, Ice Pile Delays Wolverine Service Train

February 14, 2018

An Amtrak Wolverine Service train struck a pile of ice and snow left close to its tracks, damaging the locomotive and delaying passengers for more than four hours during which the train lacked heat and the restrooms were inoperable.

The incident occurred on Monday evening and involved Chicago to Detroit (Pontiac) Train No. 352.

The train struck ice and snow that a local snow plow crew had left close to the rails near Michigan City, Indiana.

A Chicago radio station said some passengers felt sick and one said she feared losing consciousness during the ordeal.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the train was forced to stop after striking the snow and ice while Amtrak personnel re-aligned the snow plow on the locomotive.

That task took nearly two-and-a-half-hours and during that time the head-end power to the passenger cars was disconnected.

Magliari said that Amtrak police and managers distributed snacks to passengers during the delay and provided what help they could. Two other Amtrak trains using the route were also delayed.

Amtrak will discuss with the unnamed town involved the need to avoid piling snow next to railroad tracks, Magliari said.