On Saturday, my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to get out of town for the
day, and she wanted to see just some of what this train hobby of mine is all
about, so with all the recent trackwork on my favorite line, the Indiana Sub, we
pointed my pickup truck west and headed for Washington, Indiana.
In addition to the trackwork going on at Storrs, CSX was replacing ties on the
double track near Anderson Ferry. A welded rail train was parked in one of the
sidings near the Cargill plant where the St. Joe Job ties down. The St. Joe Job
was tied down with a large cut of cars there at Cargill. Continuing along the
line, ballast work was evident along the stretch between North Bend and Finney,
near the grave of President William Henry Harrison. A cut of 4 loaded coal
hoppers were tied down on a spur next to the main on this stretch as well.
Nothing much to speak of as far as trackwork goes yet in Lawrenceburg, although
it looked like some ballast had been dumped west of Aurora headed towards Milan
We stayed on Route 50 and didn't stop at Milan, so our next stop on the line was
Butlerville, where I was surprised and pleased to see that the long line of
stored boxcars were completely gone from the siding there, surely a good sign I
thought! Trackwork was evident in many places along this stretch where Rt. 50
runs right next to the tracks. A stop in North Vernon found a couple cuts of
cars for the Madison Railroad sitting in the yard, but not much else. The
Madison's nice little SW was parked at the factory north of town. Next stop was
Seymour, where the recent trackwork there, including adding welded rail on the
siding, was very evident, although there was no more work equipment around. The
track was looking pretty good, I must say.
West of Seymour, trackwork was not as evident, but work equipment was parked in
several places, seemingly being staged for ongoing work. The siding at Medora
had several tie cars tied down, and in the yard at Mitchell was an empty welded
rail train with a slug set, led by the CSXT 6448, facing west in the yard. A
couple strings of stored boxcars, including an old orange FGE car, were in the
yard as well. New ballast had been dumped at the west end of Mitchell siding, as
well as some areas between Mitchell and the Georgia siding. Georgia siding was
full of stored coil steel cars, as well as some boxcars, possibly a small cut
from that group that had been in Butlerville.
Continuing west, new rail could be seen laid out in the curves between Georgia
and Shoals, awaiting installation. Loogootee siding was filled with stored
autoracks. Finally, we arrived in Washington. There were many more vehicles at
the CSX office there than I expected for a place that barely sees any traffic
today, and stored in the yard in front of the old O&M Shops were several stored
autoracks. However, I was very surprised to find a train with an EOT on the rear
sitting on the main in Washington. It was a solid boxcar train, that was long
enough that it stretched from the east end to past the west end of the
Washington siding. I'm guessing it was some of the cars from Butlerville. It
appeared ready to go west, with an SD50 and a Dash 8 on the point, and the
classic B&O CPL showing a clear signal at the Indiana Southern diamond beckoning
him west, but no crew was aboard. But maybe they are staying there for scrapping.
So after this trip, I have to say that I think there is still maybe some hope
for my old B&O, maybe soon I can be pacing a freight west of 50 instead of just
empty track and CPL's.
Also of note, we took a little side trip and followed the old Monon between
Mitchell and Salem. Sad to see the classic Monon semaphores now doing nothing but
guarding stored freight cars, and a heavy coat of rust on the rails. Did stop to
get some nice pics of the solo semaphore at Leipsic that I shot many times when
the line was open, an now just blankly showing approach. Sad to see, could be my
last shots of that signal...