Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IC's Indianapolis Southern Railroad

pre-1967 plus paint
In the 1880s, the Cincinnati, Effingham and Quincy laid narrow-gauge track from Effingham, IL to the Indiana border. Narrow-gauge track was also built between the border and Switz City. My 1928 Railroad Atlas shows a Pennsy route through Switz City between Vincennes, IN and Indianapolis. In 1883, the two segments were consolidated as the Indiana and Illinois Southern (I&IS). In 1886, a bridge over the Wabash River was completed, and the line was converted to standard gauge the following year. The IC gained control of the I&IS before the turn of the century. In 1899, businessmen of Indianapolis formed the Indianapolis Southern Railroad to tap into the resources south of the city. The IC helped them complete the line to a connection in Switz City by 1906. A spur was built south of Bloomington to tap the limestone quarries between 1907 and 1914. The I&IS was combined with the IS and finally merged into the IC in 1911. (tdf23)

A posting on Newton, IL refers to this east/west route as "The High-Dry" line. So evidently the north/south IC/PD&E route through Newton was effectively the Low-Wet route because of its vicinity to the Embarras River.

Update: this route has the famous Tulip Trestle and the Shuttle Creek Trestle. According to a comment by Richard Koenig in a Bridge Hunter post, this route was nicknamed the Hi-Dry. He also explains that since IC is a north/south railroad, they retain that convention on this east/west branch with Indianapolis being at the north end.

The eastern part of this route is now operated by the Indiana Rail Road.

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