Posts Tagged ‘railroads of Indiana’

Indiana Short Lines Get New Managers

December 5, 2017

Two Indiana short line railroads owned by Anacostia Rail Holdings have new executives in the marketing and sales departments.

Kathleen Sackett is the new director of marketing and sales for the Louisville & Indiana Railroad while Matthew Coduti is now the manager of marketing and sales for the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.

Sackett has more than 16 years of rail sales and marketing experience, most recently with Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, where she began in 2008 as director of sales and marketing. She was named director of commercial in 2017.

Coduti is a former planner of maritime and raw material logistics at ArcelorMittal, where he worked for five years. He also has experience in planning and negotiating initiatives with rail, barge, port, truck and package services.

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Indiana Short-Line Railroad Dispute Settled

December 2, 2017

Indiana short-line Chesapeake & Indiana will be able to end operations on 5.45 miles of track between North Judson and English Lake, Indiana.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board this week formalized a settlement to a dispute over the track that had involved the C&I, track owner the town of North Judson, and the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.

The museum will be able to operate excursion trains between North Judson and English Lake outside STB jurisdiction without impeding the short line’s freight business.

The track in question is part of 28 miles that North Judson acquired in 2003 from CSX between North Judson and Wellsboro, Indiana.

The C&I began using the line for freight service in 2004. The short line is owned by the Indiana Boxcar Corporation.

The museum has argued that the C&I was not allowing excursion trains on the line in violation of the museum’s agreement with the town.

In response, C&I said that the museum had violated Federal Railroad Administration safety rules, and that the short line didn’t want to be held liable if passengers were injured.

Most of the C&I’s freight operations are on the northern end of the line, particularly to grain elevators at Malden and Union Mills that are owned by Co-Alliance LLP.

That business has grown from a few hundred carloads in 2004 to more than 4,000 so far this year.

The C&I expects more growth in 2018 when it begins delivering gypsum to a new wallboard factory. Some of the former Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana track is used for car storage.

Under the agreement between the town of North Judson and the C&I, the short line will be able to operate over the ex-C&O rails for the next 10 years.

INRD Santa Train Schedule Announced

October 31, 2017

The Indiana Rail Road will operate its annual Santa Train on Dec. 1-3.

The train, which is staffed by railroad employees and volunteers, will depart Indianapolis on Dec. 1 and make its first stop at the town hall in Bargersville between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Other stops that day include the Morgantown fire station (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.) and at Helmsburg Road in Helmsburg between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

On Dec. 2 the train will make stops at the Yoho Store in Solsberry (8 to 10 a.m.), Seminary Street in Bloomfield (11 a.m. to noon), SE C street in Linton (1:30 to 3 p.m.), Main Street in Dugger (4 to 5 p.m., and the city park in Jasonville (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.)

On Dec. 3 stops will be in three cities in Illinois and one in Indiana. The Illinois stops include High School and West Decatur streets in Newton (9 to 10 a.m.), South Range Street in Oblong (11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.), and Lincoln Street in Palestine (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.)

The train will then reverse direction and make its last stop of the season in Sullivan, Indiana, at Main Street and Judy Lane between 4 and 5 p.m.

Indiana Short Line Restores Erie Mining F9A

October 30, 2017

An Indiana short line has repainted and overhauled an F unit that once belonged to Erie Mining Company.

The Vermilion Valley Railroad has repainted  F9A No. 4210 into the yellow-and-maroon colors it wore at Erie Mining and has received an EM logo.

Vermilion Valley shop workers also had to rebuild the unit, replacing rusted-out side panels and installing an emergency brake valve in the cab in order to make the locomotive compliant with Federal Railroad Administration regulations. No. 4210 is also expected to receive FRA safety glass in its windshield.

No. 4210 was one of 11 F-units (five A’s and six Bs) built for Erie Mining by EMD in 1956 and used to transport taconite pellets on the private railroad to a processing plant at Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, to an ore dock at Taconite Harbor on Lake Superior’s north shore.

The locomotive’s original livery was blue with a silver band, but in 1963 it was repainted yellow with a maroon band. It later received a black roof.

LTV Steel Corp. bought Erie Mining in May 1986 and renamed it LTV Steel Mining Company. The F unit fleet continued to operate until 1997.

The Vermillion Valley also owns another former Erie Mining F9A, No. 4214, which it plans to eventually repaint in Erie Mining colors.

The Vermilion Valley operates 5.9 miles of former New York Central (Peoria & Eastern) track between Olin, Indiana, and Danville, Illinois.

South Bend Mayor Wants South Shore Study

October 11, 2017

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is trying to head off a proposed reroute of the South Shore Line that would pass through a residential neighborhood.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he wants to examine alternative routings for the tracks rather than putting them through the Ardmore neighborhood, where up to 40 homes could be displaced.

The proposed realignment would reduce the travel time between Chicago and South Bend by about 90 minutes from 2.5 hours.

The project is expected to cost $290 million and would also involve adding a second track between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana.

The single-track segment has been the source of delay to passenger trains meeting freight trains at passing sidings.

Other city officials have said they want to see a new alignment that will displace as few residents as possible.

Like the mayor, those officials want another alignment study in addition to the one that was done for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District by a third party engineering firm.

Buttigieg wants the city’s redevelopment commission to hire a consulting firm to prepare three alternatives to the proposed Ardmore routing.

Among the alternatives that would be studied is using an existing freight right-of-way or revamping train stations to increase capacity.

However, the mayor acknowledged that the Ardmore alignment might still be chosen if it proves to be the most ideal.

Group Formed to Protest NKP Branch Abandonment

August 8, 2017

A group has formed in Hamilton County, Indiana, to seek to overturn the decision by local officials to convert parts of a former Nickel Plate Road branch line into a hiking and biking trail.

The group, known as Save the Nickel Plate, is seeking to get supporters of keeping the rail line to write to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in opposition to approval of the line’s abandonment.

Hamilton County along with the cities of Fishers and Noblesville filed a petition with the STB on Aug. 1 to gain regulatory approval to pull up nine miles of the line between Noblesville and Indianapolis.

Through 2015 the line was used by the Indiana Fair Train and other excursions sponsored by the Indiana Transportation Museum.

The Save the Nickel Plate group has raised concerns about what it termed the lack of public input regarding the trail plan, the lack of train service, impediments to rail service caused by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority’s suspension of rail operation, and concern for the process of selecting a new railroad operator that only runs on the northern portion of the railroad.

The group has established a website at http://www.savethenickelplate.org/

L&I To Build Overpass in Downtown Columbus, Ind.

July 8, 2017

CSX and the Louisville & Indiana Railroad will join with the city of Columbus, Indiana, and Bartholomew County to pay for an overpass to carry Indiana Route 46 over the L&I tracks in downtown Columbus.

The bridge is part of a $100 million line rehabilitation project on the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline between Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

Although the L&I owns the tracks, CSX has helped the short-line railroad pay for track upgrades.

CSX routes through trains over the line between Louisville and Indianapolis. Some CSX trains use part of the route to go from Louisville to Cincinnati, getting onto the St. Louis line of the former Baltimore & Ohio at Seymour, Indiana.

The upgrading of the L&I line is expected to be completed next year. CSX has indicated that it will increase its use of the line.

Officials said Indiana Route 46 is the primary entrance and exit for motorists and trucks heading into and out of downtown Columbus.

CN, INRD Continue Cooperative Ventures

June 6, 2017

The Indiana Rail Road and Canadian National continue to work together in moving freight with their latest cooperative venture being construction of a 16,000-foot interchange track in Newton, Illinois, to interchange intermodal and other freight.

The lines of both railroads run parallel west of Newton for three miles. Newton is the eastern terminus of CN’s Effingham District while it is the western end of the INRD line from Indianapolis.

Both rail lines were formerly owned by the Illinois Central.

Before expanding the siding, the only place for the two railroads to interchange freight was a 2,600-foot siding, which has become inadequate due to an increase in intermodal and carload traffic shared by the two railroads.

The expanded siding is also expected to be used by coal and grain traffic as well.

Since launching their joint intermodal service in July 2013, the “direct-to-Indianapolis” intermodal traffic has grown an average of 44 percent a year.

Container moves have grown from 12,500 in 2014 to 17,200 in 2015 to 26,100 units in 2016.

INRD is expanding its Indianapolis intermodal terminal located just south of downtown.

Major improvements at Canadian west coast ports are expected to drive more intermodal traffic growth to Indianapolis.

The Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and the Vancouver Deltaport are currently being expanded.

Prince Rupert is the closest port to Asia and is 2.5  days sailing time closer than Los Angeles. Vancouver is 24 hours closer and is the fourth-largest port in North America.

The average transit time from major Asian ports to Indianapolis is 22 days via Prince Rupert and 24.5 days via Vancouver.

NICTD Makes West Short Project Changes

May 22, 2017

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has released plans for the proposed West Lake Corridor project of the South Shore Line.

The latest plans include a layover facility at the future Hammond Gateway Station in Hammond, Indiana.

The plan also shows that the platform location and parking lot for the Munster Ridge Road Station in Munster, Indiana, has been moved so that NICTD won’t need to acquire a set of homes south of Ridge Road.

In a news release NICTD President Michael Noland said the changes were based on “extensive community input.”

The West Lake Corridor involves extending the South Shore Line 9 miles between Dyer and Hammond on a former Monon Railroad route, part of which is still used by Amtrak and CSX.

West Shore trains would connect with Metra’s Electric District Line to the north.

The project plans call for four stations and building passenger-only tracks.

Operator Sought for Indiana Rail Line

May 3, 2017

The Indiana Fairtrain may not be dead just yet, but it won’t be operating in 2017.

The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority last month approved a request for proposals for an operator of the former Nickel Plate Road branch that was used by the Fairtrain, which last ran in 2015.

The port authority owns the tracks and has appointed a five-member review committee to review the proposals, which must be submitted by June 13.

The review process will begin on July 1 and executives of the top proposals will be interviewed by the committee.

The Port Authority hopes to name an operator for the line by its July meeting but may have to call a special meeting in August to do that.

The Fairtrain has in past years been operated by the Indiana Transportation Museum, but the Port Authority refused in 2016 to renew its operating rights over the tracks in part because the line needs extensive repairs.

“I think we’ve left it pretty open for the proposers to describe what they would do to our line, how they would maintain it,” Port Authority President Mike Obergfrell said. “The other option in there is they would make lease payments in lieu of maintenance.”