Posts Tagged ‘short line railroads of Indiana’

Patriot Rail to Acquire Pioneer Lines

August 9, 2022

Short line operators Pioneer Lines and Patriot Rail have announced plans to merge.

The announcement said Patriot will acquire Pioneer in a transaction that will give Patriot 31 railroad systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Patriot currently has 16 rail lines, although none of them are located in Ohio or its surrounding states.

Pioneer has 15 rail lines including Elkhart & Western (Indiana), Gettysburg & Northern (Pennsylvania), Indiana Southwestern (Indiana), Kendallville Terminal Railway (Indiana), Michigan Southern (Michigan), and Napoleon Defiance & Western (Ohio and Indiana).

Aside from its short line properties, Patriot operates tank car clearing, transloading, contract switching, and railcar storage, among other services.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

North Judson Completes Rail Line Sale

May 6, 2021

An Indiana city has completed the sale of a short line railroad to Midwest & Bluegrass Rail.

The short line hold company purchased the 33-mile line, which North Judson had owned for 17 years.

The town had purchased the former Chesapeake & Ohio line years earlier when CSX sought to abandon it.

The town council and redevelopment commission approved creation of a redevelopment commission fund to handle the money resulting from the sale.

M&B subsidiary Cheaspeake & Indiana was already the line’s freight operator. A tourist train operation also uses a portion of the line

The winning bid of $2.725 million was the highest of three submitted.

Indiana Short Line to Adopt PSR

October 26, 2018

The precision scheduled railroading concept is now being adopted in the short-line railroad world.

United Rail Incorporated announced this month that it will implement PSR on its properties starting with the Winamac Southern Railway in Kokomo, Indiana.

In a news release, United Rail said it is the first short-line operator to implement PSR. Until now, PSR had been an operating model used by Class 1 railroads.

United Rail Chief Executive Officer Michael Barron said he believes the Class 1 railroads will welcome the change to a PSR operating model.

John McPherson, United Rail’s director of operations, said many short lines are owned and managed by individuals, so they lack the resources or technology to implement PSR.

“As a result, many short lines operate at less than peak efficiency and lower than optimal operating margins,” McPherson said. “All parties benefit from on-time scheduled delivery.”

INRD, CSX to Remove Spring Hill Diamond

October 2, 2018

The Indiana Rail Road and CSX have notified the U.S. Surface Transportation Board authority of their plans to remove a diamond at Spring Hill near Terre Haute, Indiana.

The diamond is the crossing of the former Chicago & Eastern Illinois line now owned by CSX and the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific line now owned by INRD.

In the filing the two railroads said they plan to relocate a short segment INRD track as well as remove the diamond.

“The joint project will not result in the disruption of service to any shippers, expand the operations of INRD into new territory, or alter the existing competitive situation among carriers,” the carriers said in the STB filing.

As part of the reconfiguration, INRD will receive overhead trackage rights over a short portion of the CSX CE&D Subdivision, which is a major freight artery between Chicago and the Southeast.

INRD plans to build 800 feet of track southeast of Spring Hill to create a connection to CSX and remove 1,000 feet of track northwest of the diamond.

The two railroads plan to finish the work on or shortly after Oct. 27.

The arrangement will be similar to how R.J. Corman operates over a short section of Norfolk Southern’s Fort Wayne Line at Mace interlocking in Massillon.

To view the filing to$FILE/246439.pdf

Indiana Short Line to Rebuild Infrastucture

September 27, 2018

An Indiana short-line railroad has received a $300,000 matching grant that will be used to repair track and bridges.

The Chesapeake & Indiana received the funding from the Indiana Industrial Rail Service Fund.

The railroad will kick in $300,000 of its own money to replace 4,800 ties, and to replace two timber bridges with culverts.

Also planned is the creation of a siding at Thomaston to facilitate interchange with Norfolk Southern.

The 33-mile C&I serves La Porte, Porter, and Starke counties in northwest Indiana. Its largest shipper is Co-Alliance, which is also the state’s largest grain dealer.

In a news release, the railroad said shippers “continue to increase their rail usage with Co-Alliance at Union Mills and Malden handling more grain and fertilizer.”

The railroad has generated some new gypsum traffic for Georgia Pacific at Wheatfield that is transloaded from or rail to truck at a Whitcomb Trucking Facility east of LaCrosse.

The C&I is owned by Indiana Boxcar Company.

Madison RR Dedicates Tribute Locomotives

May 30, 2018

The Indiana-based Madison Railroad held a ceremony on Memorial Day to dedicate its “Memorial Fleet” of three locomotives painted in liveries that honor the U.S. Armed Forces and NASA.

The three locomotives painted for the fleet were placed at the stub end of a track once used to bring coal into the power plant at the Madison State Hospital.

The special units include two engines built by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

No. 4 was built for the Atlantic Coast Line as its No. 15, was rebuilt in the 1980s for the Crane Naval Weapons Support Center and is now known as Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, No. 65-00620.

No. 5 was built for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis as its No. 30 and rebuilt in the 1980s for the Navy as No. 65-00530.

Nos. 4 and 5 have been designated as model VO-1000M units after being rebuilt with EMD 567-type prime movers. Both kept their Baldwin operating cabs.

Also present at the ceremony was former NASA Railroad SW1500 No. 3, built for the Toledo, Peoria & Western as its No. 306. It served NASA for decades at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Each locomotive was given emblems along with a quotation beneath its cab.

The 22.7-mile Madison Railroad operates between Madison and North Vernon, Indiana, and has seven employees.

A former Pennsylvania Railroad line that is now owned by the City of Madison, it is best known for its hill from the Ohio River in Madison to North Madison, a distance of 7,012 feet with a grade of 5.89 percent.

The railroad no longer operates over the grade, but the tracks are still in place.

Indiana Short Line Gives Diesel a ‘Southern’ Look

May 22, 2018

Indiana Boxcar Corporation is giving one of its member railroads a Southern Railway look.

Former Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad SDM No. 815 was repainted by the Olin Locomotive Shops in West Central Indiana.

It will be assigned to the Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad, which has a former Southern unit,, GP38-2 No. 5115.

The latter was acquired during a Norfolk Southern equipment auction in August 2017.

The C&I is a 33-mile long Class III short line located in Northwest Indiana and based in LaCrosse.

It uses former C&O of Indiana tracks and primarily hauls grain that it interchanges with NS and CSX.

No. 815 had been out of service for several months while being rebuilt. The work included overhauling its prime mover, and main and auxiliary generator.

Indiana Short Line Gets $10M TIGER Grant

March 9, 2018

A federal TIGER grant of $10 million has been awarded to a railroad bridge project in southwest Indiana.

The grant will be used to rebuild the approaches to a bridge over the Maunie River in Posey County that is used by the Evansville Western Railway.

The grant application said the timber supports for the approaches are in “dire need of replacement.”

The bridge is on the former Louisville & Nashville line that connected Evansville, Indiana, with St. Louis.

The bridge was built in 1926. The E&W serves farmers, refiners, coal miners, and river ports.

South Shore Gets into Car Storage Business

February 27, 2018

The Chicago South Shore & South Bend is looking to capture a greater share of the car storage market and is using its connections in Chicago to get it.

The South Shore said it will store empty or loaded freight cars, a service it said is the result of investments in track capacity.

The Michigan City, Indiana, carrier cited its connections with six Class 1 railroads and several regional and switching lines.

“The need for railcar storage capacity located close to Chicago fluctuates based on ebbs and flows of storage space in the industry,” said CSS President Todd Bjornstad. “We are offering this because we believe South Shore’s easy access to multiple Chicago railroads gives third-party customers a chance to take advantage of our strategic location.”

Since January, CSS has offered interchange service daily except Saturday with short- or long-term rates – daily, weekly, monthly, or annually – based on how long cars might sit in storage.

Bjornstad said shippers and railroads require temporary car storage for a variety of reasons.

“In some cases, car-leasing companies have equipment coming off lease for which new lessees have not been secured. Or, some customer-owned fleets might require off-site storage during a plant’s scheduled maintenance outage.”

Indiana Rail Line May Become Trail

February 15, 2017

The rail line used to host the Indiana State Fair train may be pulled up and converted into a trail.

IndianaHamilton County officials are considering abandoning the former Nickel Plate Road branch line and making the right of way a hike and bike path.

The Fair Train, operated by the Indiana Transportation Museum, last operated in 2015 when it carried more than 10,000 passengers.

However, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, which owns the rail line, would not allow ITM to operate the Fair Train or any other trains on the line in 2016.

The HHPA says that the line needs $5 million in safety investments before it can be used for rail service again.

The line extends from the fairgrounds along 38th Street in Indianapolis northward through Fishers and Noblesville.

The museum is based in Noblesville but in recent years the Fair Train has originated in Fishers.

If built, the trail would be similar to the Monon Trail, which uses a former Monon Railroad right of way that in the 1980s hosted the Fair Train.