I passed the power plant over the weekend and noticed considerable preparation work being done at the site. Construction is progressing rapidly. I have heard rumors that Duke Energy approached CSX about connecting to the new plant either by way of an extension from the old B&O between Wheatland and Fritchton, Indiana, and also of rebuilding of the old I&V North of Vincennes (where is used to diverage from the C&EI at Niblack Blvd.). However from what I was told, CSX wanted nothing to do with it. There was also a community meeting sponsored by Duke about 2 years ago in Edwardsport regarding the possible rebuilding of the line, but I'm not sure if anything came about it nor do I believe there was another one after that.
Most of the original I&V/PRR roadbed is still in place with only a few landowners building structures on it. Some of the grade has been removed in spots and some of the bridges have been removed. The distance from Edwardsport to where the Hawthorne Mine Stub diverts from State Road 67 just South of Sandborn is probably something like 7-10 miles (possibly shorter). However, this only makes sense to rebuild this line South.
It also appears that Indiana Southern has done some upgrading and maintenance of the Hawthorne Mine Stub South of Beehunter into Sandborn. I'm not sure why ISRR would conduct maintenance on the Hawthorne Mine at this point, since Hawthorne is not in operation (I believe it closed in 1999)?
Now what I can't imagine is building a multi-billion dollar "coal gasification" plant somewhere and not having the foresight to include a rail line into it, when a connection is only just a few miles away?
I'm also curious to see what others have heard?