Posts Tagged ‘Street running in Michigan City’

Michigan City Sees Some Daylight Street Moves

April 13, 2022

Although most South Shore freight operations through Michigan City, Indiana, continue to occur at night, at least once the Chicago South Shore & South Bend has a sent a train down the street during daylight hours.

Trains magazine posted on its website a photograph of six locomotives hauling four covered hopper cars through the construction zone on 11th Street in Michigan City on April 10.

Since late February, South Shore Line passengers have been riding a bus shuttle between the Carroll Avenue station in Michigan City and the Dune Park station in Porter.

Workers are building a new double-track line through Michigan City that will eliminate the street running on 11th and 10th streets.

Most of the street running will have been eliminated by this fall when trains will resume running through Michigan City.

South Shore Freights Detouring to Avoid Michigan City Street Construction Zone

March 17, 2022

Some freight trains of the Chicago South Shore & South Bend have been detouring via Canadian National to avoid the street running in Michigan City, Indiana, which is now a construction zone.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported on its website that some South Shore freights have been detouring during daylight hours on a CN line between Chicago and Stillwell, Indiana, where it connects with the South Shore.

South Shore freights are allowed to use the street running during nighttime hours when construction is halted for the day.

The R&R report said detour moves have been made using South Shore’s own locomotives.

South Shore Line passengers are riding a bus bridge between Michigan City’s Carroll Avenue station and the Dune Park station.

South Shore commuter trains continue to operate between Chicago and Dune Park, and between Carroll Avenue and South Bend.

The bus bridge began Feb. 28 when a multimillion project got underway to double track the South Shore through Michigan City and end the street running on 11th and 10th streets that has existed since 1908.

The project involves construction of 26.6 miles of double track between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana, and the construction of a new station in downtown Michigan City on 11th Street.

Once completed, the station complex will be a four-story mixed use commercial and residential complex.

The previous South Shore station on 11th Street was razed on Jan. 31, but its terra cotta façade was saved and will be incorporated into the new facility.

The 11th Street station had opened in 1927 and closed in 1987. However, South Shore trains had continued to stop there until April 20, 2021, with passengers boarding in the middle of the street and the station being a bus shelter-type structure in a parking lot.

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.

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.

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

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

Chasing South Shore Geeps Down the Street

April 2, 2015

A South Shore light power move has just entered the street running on 11th Street in Michigan City, Ind.

A South Shore light power move has just entered the street running on 11th Street in Michigan City, Ind.

One of our objectives in visiting Michigan City, Ind., recently was to photograph the street running done by South Shore trains. Getting a passenger train was all but assured because they run on a published schedule.

But getting a freight train in the street would take having some luck. In a literal sense, we didn’t get that.

But we did get a light power move of two South Shore freight GP35s running down 11th Street. We chased them for a while and got them meeting a passenger train near the Beverly Shores station.

We began our quest by “visiting” the South Shore yard and shops on the east side of town. I say visit in quotations marks because we never went onto the property.

Instead, we viewed the sights from a road bridge that goes over the facility. There were several South Shore freight locomotives in the service area, but nothing seemed to be moving or about to move.

We spent some time photographing Amtrak trains and heard a South Shore crew talking to the dispatcher. The crew said it had No. 2000 facing west and No. 2005 facing east.

Those are freight unit numbers and it gave us hope that a freight train would be operating.

After the passage of an Amtrak train, we swung past the South Shore yard again. Crossing the tracks by the Carroll Avenue Station, we could see that No. 2000 had its headlights and ditch lights on. It must be getting ready to move.

Another radio conversation with the dispatcher confirmed that this crew was headed westward to do some work.

We waited in a parking lot toward the east end of the street running on 11th Street. When we saw the crossing gates going down for East Michigan Avenue, it was time to get into position.

Initially, I was standing in the street, but as the train approached I stepped back up onto the curb. That was a good thing because right as the locomotive arrived and we had finished getting out “coming” photos, a white car passed going the opposition direction of the train and it would have hit me had I not moved.

After photographing the train coming and going, Adam suggested that we chase it down the street. I made some photographs from the passenger seat.

It wasn’t the first train I’ve shot from a moving vehicle, but it was the first one that I photographed that was going down the street ahead of me.

We chased the train west of Michigan City, getting it waiting for a passenger train at the west end of a section of double track. With that we returned to Michigan City to get more photographs and to have lunch.

If you’re ever in Michigan City, I highly recommend the Shoreline Brewery on Wabash Street. It features great food and beer. Besides, how can you go wrong at a place whose logo is shaped and has the same colors as the herald of the South Shore Line?

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Slipping through a residential neighborhood. The houses are on Maple Street.

Slipping through a residential neighborhood. The houses are on Maple Street.

The going away shot with late morning sun illuminating the nose.

The going away shot with late morning sun illuminating the nose.

You've heard of a steeple cab, but how about a steeple coming out of a cab?

You’ve heard of a steeple cab, but how about a steeple coming out of a cab?

I like this image because it conveys a sense of a railroad track running down a street complete with all of the urban clutter of traffic signals, street signs and utility poles. If you look to the right of the nose of No. 2005 you'll see milepost 34 attached to a utility pole.

I like this image because it conveys a sense of a railroad track running down a street complete with all of the urban clutter of traffic signals, street signs and utility poles. If you look to the right of the nose of No. 2005 you’ll see milepost 34 attached to a utility pole.

We've caught up with the South Shore geeps and are pacing them down the street, hanging back a little ways.

We’ve caught up with the South Shore geeps and are pacing them down the street, hanging back a little ways.

That grade crossing signal that you see is to warn traffic about trains on the track that is parallel to them. The light power move is shown making a job during which it will transition onto 10th Street for more street running. In the process, it will cross Kentucky Street and Chicago Street as well as Amtrak's Michigan District. If you don't stop behind that yellow sign you might get clipped as a train comes around the curve.

That grade crossing signal that you see is to warn traffic about trains on the track that is parallel to them. The light power move is shown making a job during which it will transition onto 10th Street for more street running. In the process, it will cross Kentucky Street and Chicago Street as well as Amtrak’s Michigan District. If you don’t stop behind that yellow sign you might get clipped as a train comes around the curve.

The signals at the left edge of the image was the eastward home signals for Amtrak's Michigan District, which crosses the South Shore on a diamond on the edge of 10th Street.

The signals at the left edge of the image was the eastward home signals for Amtrak’s Michigan District, which crosses the South Shore on a diamond on the edge of 10th Street.

The crew has stopped just short of Lake Shore County Road. The crossing gates remained down and when a vehicle approached a crew member would come out of the cab and wave them across.

The crew has stopped just short of Lake Shore County Road. The crossing gates remained down and when a vehicle approached a crew member would come out of the cab and wave them across.

The engineer of No. 2000 has moved down slightly to block Lake Shore County Road as the passenger train approaches in the distance.

The engineer of No. 2000 has moved down slightly to block Lake Shore County Road as the passenger train approaches in the distance.

South Shore freight meets South Shore passenger.

South Shore freight meets South Shore passenger.

With the passenger train out of the way, the light power move has the signal to move onto the single track in Beverly Shores.

With the passenger train out of the way, the light power move has the signal to move onto the single track in Beverly Shores.