Friday, March 14, 2014

Today's Train of Thought- Shuffle Off to Buffalo the Hoosier State; March 14 2014

Today's Train of Thought takes us to Indiana and an impressive engineering feat for a part of the country many people assume is as flat as a pancake.

Back in the 1980s, the Illinois Central Gulf embarked on a divestment spree, getting rid of hundreds of miles of track in the Midwest and deep south to focus on their key Chicago-New Orleans route. One of these railroads got its start in 1986 is the Indiana railroad, which recently celebrated its 27th year of operation. The INRD took over operations of the 155 mile former Illinois Central line between Newton, IL to Indianapolis in 1986- which includes a number of trestles and even a tunnel southwest of Indianapolis. While other IC spinoffs from that same timeframe have folded or been absorbed by other Class I carriers, the INRD has been steadily expanding in recent years- purchasing brand new EMD SD90MACs and expanding their reach to Chicago and Louisville, KY via acquisitions and trackage rights.

Here contributor Pat Lynch caught Indiana Railroad SD40-2 #4001 leading symbol freight SAHW [Senate Avenue in Indianapolis to HiaWatha Yard in Jasonville, IN- NANESB!] trundling across the 970 foot Shuffle Creek Trestle along Lake Lemon in Unionville, IN on January 25th, 2011. Trailing the #4001 is another INRD SD40-2 and a Helm Leasing SD60 while nearby is the only tunnel on the Indiana Railroad- the 500 foot Unionville Tunnel.

As impressive as the Shuffle Creek Trestle is, it's not even the longest trestle on the INRD- that honor is reserved for the 2300 ft Richland Creek Trestle- known to some as the Tulip Testle. Both structures were completed in 1906.

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