Author Topic: Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy  (Read 2311 times)

jringreatwhitenort

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Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy
« on: August 06, 2006, 09:00:18 PM »
I am looking for info on fallen shortlines of indiana such as Indiana Interstate, Muncie & Western, Indiana Midland,  and Honey Creek, such as locomotive rosters, freight hauled, when abandoned,  and rail customers

Howard Pletcher

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Re: Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 04:33:10 PM »
The following was posted somewhere and I saved it for reference:

"The Indiana Interstate Railroad was operated in 1979 and 1980 by R.Powell Felix, who now is the designated operator of today's Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad, based in Lacrosse, IN. The rail line did go all the way from Battle Creek, MI. to Goshen, IN. where it connects with today's NS Chicago Line. New York Central abandoned the line from Sturgis, MI. to Shipshewana, IN. in 1960. From Sturgis to Battle Creek, it was also taken out, don't know when. Not sure about rail weight, it could've been as light as 75 lbs. to 90 lbs. A Trackmobile was used initially for motive power, don't know what came later. Major customers were a fertilizer plant, lumber yard and a grain elevator, these in Shipshewana. A small factory and lumber yard in Middlebury, IN., used some rail business. Locally, this railroad was known as the "Pumpkinvine" because of its many curves and only short stretches of tangent mainline. A steam-tourist operation occured during the summer and fall of 1980 between Middlebury and Shipshewana and back. Don't know how frequent service was, probably on an "as needed" basis. Penn Central Corp., which still owned the track and right-of-way, wouldn't sell the rail line to an interested group of rail enthusiasts based in Elkhart, IN. claiming they couldn't come close to their price for the line. The IRR abandoned the entire 17-mile line in December 1980; the trackage was taken up during 1981. The only remnant of trackage left is in Goshen very near the Chicago Line, with a bit of the old mainline crossing Logan St. as an industrial spur for Brunk Corp.Another new spur has been added along the old main, crossing the same street, these spurs holding numerous covered hoppers of plastic pellets.Back in 1979 I took a photo of their locomotive at the Shipshewana engine house.It was either a S-1 or S-3 painted in green,trimmed in yellowThey used ex Long Island Alco S1 #419. It was painted green with a yellow roof and handrails. Last I heard it was working a mill in Upper Sandusky Ohio and was painted light blue." --Al Corwin

Parker and Simons in their Railroads of Indiana book state that the Indiana Interstate also operated about a mile of trackage in Bicknell, Indiana for a year before/during the Goshen operation.

evasser

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Re: Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 05:00:01 PM »
Better late than never I guess, but I can provide a little more information about the Indiana Interstate Railway Co. - IIRC.

Their first operation started January 2, 1978, and consisted of roughly 1 mile of the former Conrail (Pennsylvania) main line running eastward out of Bicknell, Indiana. The motive power used on this operation was a small Trackmobile and they apparently served one or two industries on the east side of Bicknell; one of which received aluminum ingots in box cars. Don't recall the name of the company that received the aluminum or if they shipped out any finished product by rail.

I visited this operation some time in June of 1978 (I'm always looking for very small short line operations to photograph and possibly model) and was rather fascinated by this operation since I could see no real reason for its existence. The fact that Conrail had to deliver whatever cars they might have for IIRC from Vincennes to Bicknell in the first place - I wondered why they couldn't just go ahead and travel another half mile or so and spot them!

Based on the information I have, this little operation lasted until some time in 1983, so it must have been profitable up until Conrail decided to abandon the line from Vincennes to Bicknell.

Apparently, the Goshen to Shipshewanna line (16 miles) only lasted from June 2, 1979 to December 1980. Probably too many miles and too few customers - the fate of many short lines started in the 70's.

CIOR

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Re: Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 05:17:33 PM »
The Muncie & Western was owned and operated by the Ball Brothers/Ball Corp to switch their plant and interchange with the C&O/NKP/NYC/PRR/MBR(Muncie Belt)
The railroad owned various power, but the #8 and #11 were their final locomotives.  Both are still around, one being located at a grain elevator north of muncie and the other in Connersville at the WWVR.
The railroad ceased operations in 1995, turning over its trackage to the NS.
To this day, NS still switches the industry that is still in the old Ball south plant.

BozoTexino

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Re: Looking for info on Indiana Interstate Rwy
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 11:11:10 AM »
The motive power used on this operation was a small Trackmobile and they apparently served one or two industries on the east side of Bicknell; one of which received aluminum ingots in box cars. Don't recall the name of the company that received the aluminum or if they shipped out any finished product by rail.

It's Scepter Industries and/or Scepter Inc. on Bicknell's south side. The other industrry served was l;ikely Alumax, a recycling outfit that among other things reprocessed aluminum dross from the aluminum operations. This gets interesting since if open railcars loaded with dross gets rained on, it generates enough chlorine gas to constitute a hazmat incident- this actually happened in Vincennes with a loaded highway trailer a couple of decades back, requiring the evacuation of a residential neighborhood and the replacement of considerable fire department and police equipment exposed to the effects of the corrosive gas. After the first couple of days, the door hinges on some of the vehicles froze up, followed shortly thereafter by door latching and locking systems. Ooops.