Posts Tagged ‘South Shore’

South Shore to Hike Fares 5%

March 28, 2018

The South Shore Line wants to raise fares by 5 percent to help cover the cost of installation of positive train control.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District, which oversees the South Shore rail commuter route between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, said fares will rise on July 1.

The fares from downtown Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana, would increase from $9.75 to $10.25. The Chicago-South Bend fare would rise from $13.50 to $14.25.

The South Shore is paying for PTC installation through a $100 million bond, but South Shore President Michael Noland said the carrier believes that 11 additional employees will be needed to operate the system.

Five public hearings will be held in April regarding the fare increase.

South Shore Expresses Called a Success

July 13, 2015

The express train experiment between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, by the South Shore is being hailed as a success and officials are planning to expand the program.

Dubbed the South Shore Sunshine Express, the trains operate between the two endpoints of the South Shore network with travel times of just under two hours and no more than two intermediate stops.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District, which oversees the South Shore, said it plans to add more express trains, but is somewhat stymied in speeding up its trains because of slow running in Michigan City, Indiana.

The express trains have been operating for four months and NICTD said they are averaging about 100 more passengers per day traveling to Chicago from the served stations.

NICTD General Manager Mike Noland said officials had hoped that the express trains would attract at least 100 news riders.

“So far, I would deem this train a success,” Noland said. “We are hearing from other riders about how excited they are about how there is an express train. They want one on their stop as well. But they understand there are things that we need to put in place to get there.”

Among the changes that NICTD is eyeing are:

  • Moving the South Shore depot to the west side of the South Bend airport, cutting 10 minutes of travel time.
  • Adding double track in the areas that are currently single track with the goal of cutting South Bend – Chicago time to 90 minutes.
  • Reducing travel time in Michigan City.

“We need to fix Michigan City,” Noland said. “Right now to go through Michigan City through the streets is a very slow ride through the middle of town. So we need to straighten those tracks out.

“We think within four to five years we can drive the times down to 90 minutes out of South Bend, 60 minutes out of Michigan City, and 45 minutes from Ogden Dunes.”

Getting federal grants will be key to implementing some of the planned changes. In the meantime, the South Shore plans to step up promoting its express service with additional advertising.

TIGER Grant South for South Shore Improvements

June 18, 2015

Gary, Indiana, is seeking a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to help pay for a $27 million project designed to cut the travel time for South Shore commuter trains.

If the U.S. Department of Transportation approves the TIGER grant, it would be used to rebuild three stations, including the Lake Street station in Miller.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates the South Shore, wants to install high-level platforms at the Miller, Gary Metro and Ogden Dunes stations.

NICTD would also install double track and straighten some curves in the area.

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority last month approved Gary’s request for $4.26 million to be used as part of the local match for the $21.05 million federal grant.

Gary would contribute another $1 million and $860,000 would be paid by NITCD.

The project is a joint effort among the city, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revitalize four city neighborhoods, including Miller.

1969 Visit to the South Shore in Michigan City

April 3, 2015
Heavy CSS&SB electric freight motors such as 707 shared the yard with C&O 5063 (a rare cow-calf-calf set).

Heavy CSS&SB electric freight motors such as 707 shared the yard with C&O 5063 (a rare cow-calf-calf set).

A bridge by the shop gave an elevated view of their interurban cars including CSS&SB 8.

A bridge by the shop gave an elevated view of their interurban cars including CSS&SB 8.

As for street running, CSS&SB 102 awaits departure at the Michigan City passenger station.

As for street running, CSS&SB 102 awaits departure at the Michigan City passenger station.

After beginning teaching in September 1968, short railfan trips became affordable. My first one was to London, Ontario, by way of Toledo.My second one was to the Western Maryland in Hagerstown, Md.

My third one was to the Chicago area in March 1969. Michigan City on the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend was a railfan’s dream on March 30, 1969.

Yes, there was street running, but permission to be in the shop area was also easily obtained. Thankfully these photos outlasted the CSS&SB’s interurban years.

As beautiful as Craig’s recent images are, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the “old” South Shore.

Article and photographs by Robert Farkas

South Shore Starts South Bend Express Trains

March 6, 2015

The South Shore commuter railroad this month launched an express train from South Bend, Ind., to Chicago that will cover the distance in just under two hours.

The departs from South Bend at 6 a.m. (Eastern time) and arrive at the Millennium Station in Chicago just before 7 a.m. (Central time)

The current running time from South Bend to Chicago is 2 hours, 36 minutes.

The return express train in the afternoon will take slightly longer to cover the distance.

“This certainly is the wave of the future for this railroad,” said South Shore general manager Michael Noland. “It’s what people want and it’s what the strategic plan can deliver.”

The express train will make only two stops in Indiana, at the Dune Park stop in Chesterton and East Chicago.

Three other rush-hour trains will also have their travel time cut due to now having fewer stops.

Riding the South Shore? There’s an App for That

June 4, 2014

The South Shore commuter rail line in Northwestern Indiana is now offering tickets for sales to passengers who buy then with an app on their mobile devices.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and its technology supplier, Bytemark, recently made available a South Shore App that is available for Apple iOS and Android devices.

Passengers who purchase tickets on their smart phones or tablets can simply show the screen to a conductor or trainman.

The app also offers train schedules, arrival times and a system map.

“We are happy to offer a more convenient method for passengers to purchase their tickets,” said NICTD General Manager Gerald Hanas. “We anticipate that mobile ticketing technology will become more popular as passengers discover just how easy it is to use.”

The South Shore offers daily service between Chicago and South Bend, Ind. It uses the tracks of the Metra Electric (former Illinois Central) to reach downtown Chicago.

Memories of Chasing the South Shore

February 3, 2013
A South Shore train rolls through the countryside near Hudson Lake, Ind.

A South Shore train rolls through the countryside near Hudson Lake, Ind.

The new issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine focuses on interurban railways. In particular, the article on the modern South Shore reminded me of when I lived in Indiana and the many trips that I took to photograph the line.

Most of the photographs that I have are now a decade old. The challenge was to find what elements remained of the Insull interurban era on the modern line.

Surprisingly, there was quite a bit. These included street running in Michigan City, modern diesels painted like the old electric motors, the “ideal” section, and line car No. 1100.

The South Shore had several street running segments but these were rerouted or abandoned save the Michigan City trackage. Of course this became a prime target.

Due to trains stopping on 11th Street, it was possible to get two locations of the same train or chase behind a train in my car.

The “ideal” section was one mile of track built to high standards much like the North Shore (another Insull line).

It was intended to be a forerunner of how the railroad would be rebuilt but with the Great Depression this was never done and this was the only section upgraded. At the time of my photography, new poles were being erected to eliminate the old steel catenary.

Line car 1100 had the most colorful history. Originally built in 1927 for the Wynona Railroad, it later served the great Indiana Railroad interurban (also an Insull property).

It was car 376 and was in a now famous photo taken in the last days of operation on that line. Also, it was an RPO coach, which was extremely rare on an interurban. It came to the South Shore secondhand and was converted into a line car.

The South Shore took great pride in this car, which should have been in a museum. Today it is.

The South Shore is the last interurban still classified as such by the Association of American Railroads.

I hope that have enjoyed this flashback tour. For more information on line car 1100, click on the link below.

http://www.chestertontribune.com/Northwest%20Indiana/nictd_board_splits_to_donate_his.htm

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Many trains roll beneath wires, but the South Shore is America's last true interurban railway.

Many trains roll beneath wires, but the South Shore is America’s last true interurban railway.

Playing dodge car in Michigan City, Ind.

Playing dodge car in Michigan City, Ind.

Passing houses along a Michigan City street.

Passing houses along a Michigan City street.

Even more street running in Michigan City.

Even more street running in Michigan City.

South Shore line car No. 1100 has had a long and varied history.

South Shore line car No. 1100 has had a long and varied history.

Line car 1100 is now spending the rest of its days in a museum.

Line car 1100 is now spending the rest of its days in a museum.

The South Shore carries freight as well as passengers. Doing the freight duties are a pair of GP30-2s that are adorned in the same orange that once dominated the passengers cars. The units are shown at Michigan City.

The South Shore carries freight as well as passengers. Doing the freight duties are a pair of GP38-2s that are adorned in the same orange that once dominated the passengers cars. The units are shown at Michigan City.

A view of the "ideal" section" near Miller, Ind.

A view of the “ideal” section” near Miller, Ind.