Author Topic: Terre Haute Railfanning guide  (Read 9708 times)

CIOR

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Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« on: May 13, 2011, 12:43:00 PM »
Terre Haute Railfanning Guide:




Milldam Rd/Rosedale Rd: (CSX STL) Located just outside of Terre Haute, Mill Dam park is a favorite for railfans and non-railfans alike.  Parking is easily available from the parking lot for the park and shots are plentiful.  From the crossing, looking west is a wide open field shot, while looking east features the QS66/Markles signals.  If you want to take a short walk from the parking lot, the Rosedale Rd bridge, which includes a sidewalk on the south side, offers a wonderful shot of trains crossing the creek, including a small waterfall in the creek.




Fruitridge Ave: (INRD) Located on the northeast side of Terre Haute, Fruitridge crosses the Indiana Rail Road on the west end of their Van Yard.  They have offices at Van that house their dispatchers and other officials.  If the Terre Haute Utility is not somewhere around town working, there should be a Geep sitting close to the crossing to shoot.  As of 5/10, it was INRD 3801, but it could be different by 5/21.  If you stand in the grass between the office and Fruitridge, you shouldnít have a problem.  Just get your shot of the engine and leave.




Ryder Rd: (CSX STL/INRD) This road will take you around the CP68 interlocking, where the CSX St. Louis Line crosses the INRD Chicago Sub.  INRD doesnít run much through here, just the XL coal train up to Fayette and back and occasionally the Terre Haute Utility will come this far north to work.  Ample photo locations can be found in all directions on both railroads.  There is a crossing south of the diamond on the INRD, as well as east of it on CSX.  The CSX shots are only decent, but you can make due if youíre wanting a diamond shot.  This road isnít very busy, and there is enough parking off to the side of this road for a few cars, just donít bring a huge group and draw too much attention to yourselves.





25th St: (CSX STL): This road crosses the St. Louis Line on the east end of Duane Yard, which was Conrailís main yard in Terre Haute.  Everything around this crossing is railroad property, so be on alert if you decide to try this spot.  There is normally three or four Geeps parked in the yard about a half mile west of the crossing.  Iíve never had a problem with walking in and shooting them, but that doesnít mean you wonít.  Just keep your distance from the tracks and donít linger here.  The shot to the west is good, as it includes the yard.  The shot to the east is decent, with an old NYC signal bridge off in the distance for CP68.




Plum St/Wabash Valley RR Museum: (CSX STL/CED) This is the site of the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum, which includes the famous Haley Tower, among other things.  The museum makes for a nice place to just sit and watch the trains go by.  They have a nice patio deck with lawn chairs.  Youíll see everything CSX runs through town from this spot.  Parking is plentiful here.  The museum can fit many cars in their lot, and Plum St dead ends at the railroad, so the side of Plum St can be used if needed, as well.  Photos to the east/north are good, while shots from the west/south are worse than decent.  The CP East Haley signals are right next to the museum as well.




Third Ave: (CSX STL/CED) Located a couple miles west of Haley Tower is the Third Ave crossing.  At Third Ave, you can find the CP West Haley signal bridge.  The CE&D Sub and the St. Louis Line break off in their respective directions a couple blocks south of this spot.  Photos to the south/west here are decent, with a gentle curve, while shots to the north/east are good, including the West Haley signal bridge.  Parking can be found on the south side of the crossing in the big lot behind the IGA store.




CIOR

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 12:43:14 PM »


Elm St: (CSX STL/CED) Just a couple blocks southwest of Third Ave is Elm St.  At Elm, the parallel running between the St. Louis Line and CE&D ends and the St. Louis Line continues west for St. Louis, while the CE&D turns south for Evansville.  Photo angles arenít the greatest here, southbounds/westbounds look best.  Eastbounds on the St. Louis Line come around a long sweeping curve to meet up with the CE&D Sub here, while northbounds on the CE&D are a pretty cramped shot.  There is enough parking for 2 or 3 cars here between both mains.




First St: (CSX STL) This location on the west side of town features the CP 72 interlocking, where the existing NYC main meets the existing PRR main, which is how the St. Louis Line continues to St. Louis.  The PRR is removed east of here, while the NYC breaks off and becomes the Danville Branch, which goes to Paris, IL and meets up with the NYC Egyptian Line, which continues the Danville Branch to Danville, IL.  Shots are great here and there are plenty of them.  Both the NYC and PRR have bridges over the Wabash River, which can easily be shot from here.  The NYC is a through-truss.  The eastbound CP72 signal is a cantiliver, and can also be easily photographed with westbounds here.  Two cars can park between the NYC and the PRR off First Street, but many more can park on Sycamore St, the first street to west south of the crossing.  Sycamore dead ends at the river, and if you walk into the blocked off parking lot between Sycamore and the tracks, a great westbound shot of the S-curve can be had.  There is also a branch that runs down the middle of First Street from CP72 south to Graham Grain that sees the occasional grain train to Graham.  Itís not street running, but itís pretty close.
NOTE 1: The First Street crossing is closed as of 5/10.  Itís unknown if it will be opened by 5/21.
NOTE 2: If you park on Sycamore Street, the Indiana State University police might pay you a visit.  ISU owns the old factory on the south side of the street, and the last time I was there I got paid a visit.  The cop told me they have no problem with railfans being there, but they have to check on us, as thereís been a lot of copper thefts from the factory.




US 150: (CSX STL) Located in West Terre Haute, just across the river, US 150 crosses right at the CP75 interlocking, where the St. Louis Line goes to single track, which it remains most of the way to St. Louis.  Shots to the west feature the CP75 signals, while to the east you can drive down Railroad Street and shoot from the side of it for elevation.  Parking is minimal here.  A car or two can park at the 150 crossing, while one or two might be able to park alongside Railroad Street.  Railroad is not very busy, but MAKE SURE you leave room for other cars to get through.




Haythorne Ave: (CSX CED) On the north side of Terre Haute, this is the only crossing on the short Dewey siding.  The northbound shot here is wide open, but nothing special.    The southbound shot includes the signals for North End Dewey, which are about a quarter mile north of the crossing.  Parking here is in a dirt lot between the tracks and a drive into a construction site.  A rough guess would put about 4 or 5 cars into this lot.  I wouldnít try to push it any more than that.










Margaret Ave: (CSX CED/INRD) Located a block north of I-70, Margaret is the only crossing I know of that crosses four different rail lines in less than two miles.  From east to west, the first railroad it crosses is the INRD Chicago Sub main around town.  Northbound shot here is good, while the southbound is great, with a sweeping curve above a small creek and a signal.  Second railroad is the CSX CE&D Sub.  Margaret crosses on the south side of Baker Yard, which was the C&EIís main yard in Terre Haute.  Parking is available at the gas station at the corner of Margaret and Nineteenth St.  You can walk to the crossing from here.  Northbound shot is decent, while southbound is pretty good, with the yard in the background.  Third railroad is the INRD again.  This line is just a branch that the Terre Haute Utility jobs use to service customers, and also features Hulman Street Yard.  The shots in both directions are decent, but parking is nonexistant.  The last railroad is the branch into the Graham Grain facility.  The traffic on this line is pretty well nonexistent now, as most trains into Graham Grain use the trackage down the middle of First Street now.




Springhill Dr: (CSX CED/INRD) Located on the far south side of town, Springhill used to feature the crossing of three different railroads: NYC, MILW and C&EI.  Now it just features the CSX CE&D Sub and the INRD Chicago Sub.  The interlocking just got a major facelift late in 2010 and is now much more open.  Northbound shots on both railroads here are decent, and just including the diamond, while southbound on INRD features an S-curve and southbound on CSX has a signal bridge for CP South Baker.  Parking here is all on railroad property, but if you park near the road you shouldnít have a problem.  More than two cars at a time is not advisable.

Please, use good judgement and common sense when railfanning in Terre Haute.  People in Terre Haute seem to be a little more laid back than people in other big cities, just donít do anything stupid that would draw attention to you.  In times like this, they donít need much reason to call in someone that is standing around the railroads.

If anyone would like info for railfanning spots near, but outside of Terre Haute for this day, you can email Garth McMains at csxstlouisline@yahoo.com and Iíll do my best to try and get you where you want to go.

indyspy

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 01:44:45 PM »
If you don't mind a little Jaunt, US40 follows the railroad closely from the Ill line to Effingham IL as well.
If in doubt, Notch it out!

INprinter

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 02:32:57 PM »
CIOR,

You could just take this one step further since you have all the locations listed. How about numbering each location on a single Google Map with a Title and Description. Would that work. Just squeeze that in between all the other chores and trips out to watch trains.

Inprinter
Shelbyville-1st RR in IN: 7/4/1834. 1st RR abandoned in IN: K&S RR 1854, 26 miles. Making IN RR history. Without photons photography would be a black art. You can never get cornered in the Roundhouse.

CIOR

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2011, 08:38:04 PM »
CIOR,

You could just take this one step further since you have all the locations listed. How about numbering each location on a single Google Map with a Title and Description. Would that work. Just squeeze that in between all the other chores and trips out to watch trains.

Inprinter

If I had the free time I would...LOL...   ;D

sataraid1

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 09:54:12 PM »
A couple of points of information:

If you decide to visit the railroad bridges over the Wabash in Terre Haute, don't under any circumstances walk on the bridges or give police or CSX employees reason to think you did. There have been a couple of fatalities in the last few years from people falling (or jumping) off the bridges and local law enforcement has a close to zero tolerance policy.

If you're down at Spring Hill, there are two brand-new overpass bridges to the south over the CED on McDaniel Road, and on the 641 bypass. Both are very open, have a full shoulder, and have excellent shots available for northbounds. A third bridge goes over the INRD, but last time I was there it wasn't open yet, and may not be completed.

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 10:27:30 PM »
A couple of points of information:

If you're down at Spring Hill, there are two brand-new overpass bridges to the south over the CED on McDaniel Road, and on the 641 bypass. Both are very open, have a full shoulder, and have excellent shots available for northbounds. A third bridge goes over the INRD, but last time I was there it wasn't open yet, and may not be completed.
Yes indeed. I saw these when I was up in TH a few weeks ago. I thought they would make some good shots. Kind of in the country so I don't think anyone would mess with you. Sad to see the old NYC gone though.
Maybe a visit to Joe's Hobby Barn if your at Spring Hill.  ;)

Fitch

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 03:55:40 AM »

 Are they still running down 1st Street? I thought they discontinued that when they put the new connection into the INRD Branch just across 41?

sataraid1

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 09:21:14 AM »
Are they still running down 1st Street? I thought they discontinued that when they put the new connection into the INRD Branch just across 41?

Only rarely. They still use the 1st Street track over enough distance to provide headroom for switching the grain elevator at Greenwood Street. A couple of weeks ago, there as a CSXT engine sitting at 1st and Hulman waiting to work the elevator.

FWIW, the elevator yard has recently been tamped and ballasted and is looking far better than it has in years.

ScottFlood

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 08:58:53 PM »
Update to the guide: the line to Graham Grain that cross Margaret Ave. appears to have been pulled up, at least on either side of Margaret Ave.

Fitch

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2011, 04:00:08 AM »
Update to the guide: the line to Graham Grain that cross Margaret Ave. appears to have been pulled up, at least on either side of Margaret Ave.

 Yep, this line has been torn up from the Diamond with the INRD industrial tracks beside the Goodwill all the way back to Spring Hill.

 This spur now crosses US41 and connects into the INRD Industrial tracks. Part of the effort to reduce Grade crossings in the city.

 At least the tracks are slated to be removed from the Diamond North.   

mvoll

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2011, 07:25:25 PM »
Lovely to have everything listed.  Terre Haute does seem to be very friendly towards railfans, doesn't it?  You simply cannot beat Haley Tower:)

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2011, 07:57:33 PM »
Another comment on US 150. Coming south under the former NYC you can still barely make out where it says "NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM" on the north face of the bridge.

vogelm

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2011, 02:37:49 AM »
I forgot the name of it but there is a park right along the Wabash River bridge on the St. Louis line.
$@%? Via!

ns9957

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 12:00:25 AM »
The signal tower at Third Avenue is a GREAT place to wait. My dad and I were there in August 2010 for less than an hour and we saw 4 trains!

indyspy

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2012, 03:27:15 PM »
Lovely to have everything listed.  Terre Haute does seem to be very friendly towards railfans, doesn't it?  You simply cannot beat Haley Tower:)


I can concur, I have had a cop there come up to my window while I was watching trains and say "Ohh your watching trains aren't you" and then he quickly just left without any further actions.
If in doubt, Notch it out!

IndyAnna81

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2012, 07:16:56 PM »
A couple of points of information:

If you decide to visit the railroad bridges over the Wabash in Terre Haute, don't under any circumstances walk on the bridges or give police or CSX employees reason to think you did. There have been a couple of fatalities in the last few years from people falling (or jumping) off the bridges and local law enforcement has a close to zero tolerance policy.


Same with the trestle going over Otter Creek. Some guy got smacked in the head by a passing train a few weeks ago and knocked into the creek with his girlfriend.  They're really enforcing it now.  There was a news article about it saying people are still trespassing up there, and they've found soda cans and even DIAPERS up there to prove it. Bringing a baby on a trestle??? Come the heck ON....

NSSD60M

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 07:16:10 PM »
Same with the trestle going over Otter Creek. Some guy got smacked in the head by a passing train a few weeks ago and knocked into the creek with his girlfriend.  They're really enforcing it now.  There was a news article about it saying people are still trespassing up there, and they've found soda cans and even DIAPERS up there to prove it. Bringing a baby on a trestle??? Come the heck ON....

Absolutely idiotic.  In my few visits to Milldam Park, I've seen several boneheads walk across the bridge.

And..  who's to say they were baby diapers?? lol

trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 10:43:49 AM »
Between the CSX St Louis Line and the CE&I Line. How Many Trains a Day could you See?

trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 11:28:12 AM »
What about Locust Street for Train Watching?

railfan727

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2015, 01:49:09 PM »
What about Locust Street for Train Watching?

Locust Street is OK, but my preferred spot is from the driveway behind the IGA store, closer to 3rd Avenue.  This is my "standard" morning location in Terre Haute.  When the sun shifts to the west side of the tracks, I either go to the Wabash Valley Railroader's Museum, or set up in the gravel lot on the north side of 8th Avenue, next to the crossing.  This is a good place to get head-on shots of westbounds on the St. Louis Line as they come around the curve through East Haley interlocking.
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indyspy

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2015, 02:53:12 PM »
The IGA is my preferred spot.

There used to be a couple OBNOXIOUS truck drivers that would drop trailers off Locust street in the small lot to the north of that street.
They get real nasty if anyone parks near them. I had to call the cops on one.
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trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2015, 07:08:07 AM »
Between the Chicago Line and the St Louis Line. About how many Trains a Day pass through Terre Haute?

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2015, 09:35:02 AM »
Between the Chicago Line and the St Louis Line. About how many Trains a Day pass through Terre Haute?
I'd probably say around 30-40
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trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2015, 01:28:50 PM »
Ok Thanks. That helps out for my News Letter to the Local National Railway Historical News Letter for February.

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2015, 01:57:52 PM »
Ok Thanks. That helps out for my News Letter to the Local National Railway Historical News Letter for February.

I don't know how soon you need to get your info out or accurate you want to be, but I may be able to look at the ATCSMon system in the next couple days (depending on the weather) and get a count on movements by the tower for ya. With all the grain/coal etc trains I think it was 50 +/- last time I checked. All depends on the day of the week.

Bill

Trainguy2525

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2015, 08:11:39 PM »
According to the Trains Magazine hot spot book it says 50-60. I don't know how much truth there is to this though as I've never railfanned here

trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2015, 08:53:20 AM »
That would be great to get a real good count of all the Trains through Terre Haute. I will be using that information in my News Letter for the Indianapolis Branch of the National Railway Historical Society. I am also looking for Train counts on the NS in Tolono Ill. I have an Idea what the Count is on the CN/IC through there.

railfan727

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2015, 10:24:59 AM »
Well, I think I'm going to head down there on Saturday afternoon to take advantage of the (relative) warmth and sunchine for this time of year.  My wife even wants to go along...

My best day there was in 2011 (I believe), with 25 trains seen and filmed during daylight, including several grain and coal moves.  Most days though, if I spend all day there, I see somewhere between 15 and 20.
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IC1034

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2015, 02:55:16 PM »
That would be great to get a real good count of all the Trains through Terre Haute. I will be using that information in my News Letter for the Indianapolis Branch of the National Railway Historical Society. I am also looking for Train counts on the NS in Tolono Ill. I have an Idea what the Count is on the CN/IC through there.
Usually around 40 a day on the NS. Maybe less depending on the day but in a full 24 hrs that's probably a good number to go with.

trainmaster53

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2015, 03:10:04 PM »
IC1034 Thanks for the Info on the NS Train Count at Tolono Illinois. If you have any other good Locations in Illinois that you can post please do so. I think I have a Count for Tuscola Illinois for the UP/CNIC and CSX. But any Information I can get for Illinois I would Appreciate.

Trainguy2525

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Re: Terre Haute Railfanning guide
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2015, 03:11:06 PM »
Well, I think I'm going to head down there on Saturday afternoon to take advantage of the (relative) warmth and sunchine for this time of year.  My wife even wants to go along...

My best day there was in 2011 (I believe), with 25 trains seen and filmed during daylight, including several grain and coal moves.  Most days though, if I spend all day there, I see somewhere between 15 and 20.
Should be a gorgeous day for train watching!