Posts Tagged ‘South Shore commuter service’

South Shore Expands Bus Bridge Service

August 9, 2022

The South Shore Line changed its bus bridge operations on Aug. 6 as work continues to double track the commuter line between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

Bus service is now replacing train service between Carroll Avenue station in Michigan City and Gary Metro station.

South Shore trains continue to operate between Gary and downtown Chicago, and between Carroll Avenue and South Bend, Indiana.

Buses will make intermediate stops at Dune Park, Portage/Ogden Dunes, and Miller. Loop bus service will operate between the Beverly Shores and 11th Street stations.

The bus service in lieu of trains will continue through spring 2023.

South Shore Eyes New South Bend Station Site

August 4, 2022

The governing board of the South Shore Line has agreed to seek requests for proposals for moving the South Bend, Indiana, station.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District board’s station request for proposals calls for updating engineering and environmental planning for the project.

Since 1990 the South Shore has used a terminal on the east side of South Bend International Airport.

However, agency officials have long been disenchanted with the slow route to that station, saying it adds up to 15 additional minutes of running time.

NICTD has long eyed moving the South Shore terminal to the west side of the airport. Efforts in 2008 and 2017 to move the South Bend terminal failed to result in any tangible action other than conducting studies.

In recent years NICTD officials have been discussing the prospect of moving the South Bend terminal to a downtown location.

The South Shore once terminated in downtown South bend, but that was eventually scaled back to the Bendix neighborhood on the west side of South Bend. The former Bendix station is currentlu used by intercity passenger carrier Amtrak.

Officials have said the 1990 extension to the airport was always intended to be temporary.

The major stumbling block to moving the South Bend terminal to the downtown area is cost, which NICTD President Michael Noland said could be as much as $250 million.

Relocating at the airport, though, would cost an estimated $50 million to $75 million.

NICTD officials have said one reason for considering the move at the airport now is because funding for it might be available under the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

The ultimate goal of the relocation would be to create a running time of as few as 90 minutes between the airport and downtown Chicago.

Loan to Help Finance West Lake Corridor

June 20, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided a $203.3 million Rehabilitation and Improvement Program loan to help fund the West Lake Corridor Project in Northwest Indiana.

The agency is building an 8-mile extension of the South Shore Line from Hammond to Dyer, Indiana.

The loan will be used to pay for about a third of the the $852 million in eligible project costs. It was issued by USDOT’s Build America Bureau to the Indiana Finance Authority on behalf of South Shore parent agency the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The West Lake Corridor is being built on and along a former Monon Railroad right of way and is slated to open in 2025. It will have four new stations.

Other federal funding of the project includes a $354.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

South Shore Project to Begin June 1

May 26, 2022

Work is expected to get underway soon on construction of the West Lake Corridor commuter rail corridor in Northwest Indiana.

The eight-mile corridor will expand South Shore Line service from Hammond, Indiana, to Dyer, Indiana.

Michael Noland, president of the Northern Indiana Transportation Commuter District, told the agency’s board of directors that construction of the West Lake Corridor will begin June 1.

The $6.6 million project is expected to be completed within three years after construction begins.

As part of the project, workers will need to build bridges over the Grand Calumet River and various freight railroad lines in the region.

The corridor will have an intermediate station in Munster. The route uses right of way of the former Monon Railroad.

When completed, the South Shore trains will operate between Dyer and Chicago.

During the board meeting, Nolan also provided an update on the double tracking project of the main South Shore line between Michigan City and Gary.

He said work is on scheduled to be completed between Michigan City and Dune Park in Porter by the end of the year. The project will eliminate street running in Michigan City.

In the meantime, the South Shore is using buses to transport riders between the Michigan City Carroll Avenue station and Dune Park. Nolan said the bus bridge operation has carried 23,000 passengers since late February.

The next phase of the double-tracking project will involve the Dune Park-Gary segment where passengers there will rides buses as construction progresses.

The double track project is expected to be finished in 2024.

Glad I Got it When I Did

March 5, 2022

With the demise of the South Shore commuter trains on the Michigan City, Indiana, street running last weekend, I’m glad I have a few documented memories. These images were mde during a July 3, 1994, visit with Marty and Robert Surdyk. I know I have video footage also.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

South Shore Street Running 1969 Style

March 5, 2022

Running in the middle of 11th Street in Michigan City, Indiana, has been a hallmark of South Shore commuter train operations for decades.

But that has now ended. The last full day of revenue service commuter trains operating on 11th and 10th streets was Sunday, Feb. 27.

To be historically accurate, the last revenue run down those streets was Train 106 on Monday, Feb. 28 at 5:45 a.m. headed to Chicago. Two other trains preceded it in the pre-dawn hours.

But after No. 106 departed Michigan City’s Carroll Avenue station, buses took over ferrying passengers between there and the Dune Park station. Trains continue to run between South Bend and Carroll Avenue, and between Chicago and Dune Park.

Even before the final days of the street running, preparations were underway for the construction project that will transform the South Shore into a two-track operation between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

The trains will still run on 11th Street but parallel to the street not in it. Also, 11th Street will become one way.

The neighborhood will also change. Several houses have been purchased and are set to be razed to make room for the double track and the rebuilt street.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend freight trains will continue to operate in the street for now, but will do so at night. Also moving at night will be ferry non-revenue moves of South Shore passenger equipment from Dune Park to the shops near Carroll Avenue.

Back on March 30, 1969, though, no one could have imagined the end of street running in Michigan City.

Shown above is a South Shore train using equipment that has long since been replaced. Car 101 was built by Pullman in 1926. It was lengthened in the early 1940s and modernized by 1950.

These cars were painted orange and replaced by Nippon Sharyo equipment starting in 1982.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Last Day of Scheduled Street Running

February 27, 2022

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, was the final day that scheduled South Shore Line commuter trains would be running down 11th Street in Michigan City, Indiana. The following day buses were to replace trains between the Carroll Avenue station in Michigan City and the Dune Park station. This arrangement will continue into the fall of 2022. In the meantime, workers will be laying double track and reconfiguring 11th Street. When the project is completed the street running will be gone.

Shown is an eastbound on Sunday afternoon. South Shore freight trains and South Shore Line ferry moves will continue to use these rails but only at night.

Michigan City Street Running End Draws Near

February 23, 2022

The near end of street running on 11th Street in Michigan City, Indiana, is set to unfold next week.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District said that starting Feb. 28 buses would replace trains between South Shore Line stations at Carroll Avenue in Michigan City and Dune Park in Porter, Indiana.

South Shore freight service will continue operating in the street, but only at night. Also operating at night will be ferrying of South Shore equipment between Dune Park and Carrollton Avenue where the South Shore has its maintenance shop.

The bus-for-trains arrangement is expected to continue through fall 2022 and affects all scheduled trains seven days a week.

NICTD is undertaking a 25-mile $491 million double-tracking project between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

The project involves realigning tracks in Michigan City to eliminate street running. The double-tracking project is expected to be completed in 2024.

Officials have said double tracking will cut the running time between Chicago and Michigan City by 33 minutes.

South Shore Depot in Michigan City Razed

February 2, 2022

A Chicago-bound South Shore train passes the former Michigan City station on March 21, 2015.
An architect’s rendering of what the new Michigan City South Shore station will look

Workers in Michigan City, Indiana, recently razed the former South Shore commuter rail line station.

The demolition was part of the project to remove street running on 11th Street in downtown Michigan City. The project also involves adding a second mainline track between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

The MC station had been closed since 1987. It was built in 1927 and featured a terra cotta façade.

Officials at the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which oversees South Shore commuter operations, said the facade was saved and will be incorporated into a new Michigan City station that will be constructed on the site of the old depot.

The new station will have high-level boarding platforms and be a two-level structure.

The South Shore continued to stop at the 11th Street station until May 2021 with passengers using a bus shelter-type facility in an adjacent parking lot.

Land Transfer To Enable South Shore Track Project

January 8, 2022

A land transfer agreement completed in late December has enabled an Indiana commuter railroad to clear another hurdle in the South Shore double tracking project.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Chicago, South Shore & South Bend completed a transaction with Northern Indiana Public Service Company that will enable double tracking of 17 miles of the South Shore between Gary and Michigan City to proceed.

In a news release, The CSS&SB said the double tracking will also boost its freight service.

NICTD oversees the South Shore Line commuter service between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, while the CSS&SB is a freight railroad owned by Anacostia Rail Holdings.

The $300 million double-tracking project is expected to be completed by April 2024.

Currently the line has eight miles of double-track between Gary and Michigan City.

Funding for the project is coming from a variety of federal, state and private funds.

In a news release, Anacostia  said trains face a congestion at Burns Harbor where CSS&SB and NICTD trains share a single-track main line.

The release said once double tracking is completed, freight switching will be conducted north of the main line.

“This will allow CSS&SB to use some of NIPSCO’s now idle Bailly Generation Station  property to foster business development in Northwest Indiana,” the news release said.