Note: Some links may not work
anymore, depending on how old they are.
December 26, 2000
December 20, 2000
This is looking east at the new signals on the east end of Dunfee Siding at the West County Line Road crossing on the NS Chicago District. Signal maintainers have been working on these all this week.
December 14, 2000
December 10, 2000
This is the new signal bridge over the Chicago District near Berry St. and Anthony Blvd., which still has the covers on it. Just beyond on the right is one of the old Nickel Plate style signals which eventually will be replaced.
December 2, 2000
November 29, 2000
November 19, 2000
By David Griner
Although Amtrak recently ruled out one rail path through Fort Wayne, the company is considering a new route to Ohio that could bring passenger service back to the city for the first time in more than a decade. It could take 10 years and well over $100 million in track upgrades, but advocates of a new passenger line say it would bring growth and convenience to Fort Wayne while alleviating congestion on the Amtrak line through Waterloo.
"The good thing about the news that I'm hearing is that because of the potential for increased passenger and freight traffic, we're not looking at shutting down any lines," said Geoff Paddock, a member of the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council. "We're looking at adding lines. I think that's good news for all the parties involved because we don't want to take away from South Bend or Waterloo."
The regional council, made up of nine area public officials, has tried to keep the idea of a new Fort Wayne passenger stop alive by working with Amtrak and transportation planners for Indiana and Ohio. Last week, the council announced that a bill being considered by the U.S. Senate could provide $1 billion a year for track improvements like those needed to bring high-speed passenger trains to Fort Wayne from Chicago. Before any costs realistically can be determined, Amtrak must determine whether the plan is realistic. Amtrak and the transportation departments for Indiana and Ohio plan to begin a feasibility study in January for a Chicago-Cleveland route that would pass through Gary, Fort Wayne and Toledo.
"There's going to be a study done that's basically going to look at the entire Chicago-to-Cleveland corridor," said Tom Beck, rail planner for the Indiana Department of Transportation. "The question is going to be, `What makes the most sense in terms of cost and potential ridership?' "
A similar study for a route through Fort Wayne and Lima ended in August with the announcement that Lima was too far of a stretch for a Chicago-Toledo link. Calls to Amtrak were referred to national spokesman Kevin Johnson, who said he was unfamiliar with the study but confirmed the Chicago-Cleveland route is on a list of potential new lines.
Since November 1990, many of Fort Wayne's train passengers have had to drive north to Waterloo. There, they wait in an open, plexiglass hut that looks more like a bus stop than a train station.
Fort Wayne officials already plan to have a posh station waiting for Amtrak, should the company decide to return. The city's redevelopment commission has worked with private architects and engineers to refurbish the Baker Street Station. The next phase of the station's $1.7 million renovation will complete the project by bringing back the concourse area, which likely will be used as a spot for caterers to host special events, city redevelopment specialist Loren Kravig said. Baker Street Station LLP, a cooperative overseeing the depot's redevelopment, has been open to Amtrak's return, Kravig said.
Despite Fort Wayne's available depot, size and convenient location between Chicago and Cleveland, Paddock said the regional council is trying not to be overly optimistic about the proposed passenger route. The greatest success of city and state officials, he said, has been to show Amtrak that Fort Wayne is ready and waiting for service. "Because of our efforts," Paddock said, "we've been able to get Fort Wayne on the radar screen."
November 16, 2000
For years Fort Wayne has been without passenger rail service and recent efforts to bring Amtrak back to Fort Wayne as part of a Chicago route have run out of steam. Two considerations remain on the table.
The first proposal is for service between Chicago and Columbus, which would pass through Fort Wayne and possibly Lima. The second possibility would be a line between Chicago and Toledo involving the Norfolk Southern line through Woodburn. But there is a line already running through Waterloo and South Bend on the way to Chicago. That’s not a problem, according planners. The study on the two pending routes is to be concluded in May. INDOT estimates track upgrades would cost $1.2 million per mile, or more than $100 million from Chicago to Fort Wayne. Some funding could come from a $10 billion federal appropriations bill. If the study shows potential for ridership, resumed service would still be five to ten years away.
November 15, 2000
November 10, 2000
November 4, 2000
October 30, 2000
October 24, 2000
At 9:00pm, NS 20T with NS 9463 in the lead races through Monroeville, IN towards Crestline and Mansfield, OH.
October 21, 2000
October 13, 2000
October 8, 2000
October 3, 2000
September 28, 2000
By Ryan Werbeck
The Journal Gazette
NEW HAVEN - Officials announced a task force Wednesday to explore solutions to Norfolk Southern trains blocking city crossings. New Haven police cited Norfolk Southern crews 27 times between Jan. 30 and Sept. 17 for blocking crossings. Indiana law states trains are not allowed to block crossings for more than 10 minutes unless there is some type of malfunction. If they do, local police have the authority to issue citations. Officials from the city, Norfolk Southern and area businesses along with residents are teaming up to find solutions, Mayor Terry McDonald said. "It can get really bad," McDonald said of the delays. "Sometimes it's as bad as 45 minutes to an hour." The mayor cited safety and environmental concerns as the main reasons for the probe. Blocked crossings can impede ambulances and other emergency vehicles and cause idling tractor-trailer-rigs to emit more exhaust, he said. In some cases, two or three tickets have been written in one day. Each citation carries a $175.50 fine, Police Chief Michael Sweet said.
Residents have called in complaints, Sweet said, but officers also come across blocked crossings during patrols. Sweet said he began noticing trains blocking more crossings after Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation expanded their networks by absorbing Conrail into their systems in June 1999. In recent months, however, police have come across fewer blocked crossings, partly because of better communication between the city and Norfolk Southern, Sweet said. By calling railroad dispatchers, he said, police can learn whether a train is having mechanical problems.
Norfolk Southern Division Superintendent John Irwin said his interest in the task force has nothing to do with the number of tickets. "I'm more interested in finding a solution so the public isn't mad at the railroad," he said. "We want to try and minimize the effects (of the trains)."
Robert Roehm, a task force member and employee of Signature Products near the Norfolk Southern yard on Nelson Road in New Haven, said slow-moving trains can adversely affect his business. Aside from causing delivery trucks to be delayed, trains could make employees late for work and customers tardy for appointments.
One of the first items on the task force's agenda is to find some short-term solutions, McDonald said. He said placing video cameras at some crossings may help alert city and railroad authorities to problems. Irwin said his company has already taken steps to ease the delays by adding more workers to speed trains along.
But short-term fixes aren't enough for some, including New Haven resident Rose Adams. Adams, who lives near the Main Street crossing, said the trains have been a problem for years. "It seems like they're putting more cars on now," she said. "The more things are built up around here, you realize more needs done." She said the best option may be to build overpasses over some of the key crossings so traffic, especially emergency vehicles, isn't disrupted. "Definitely, New Haven needs one," she said. "Every road that goes out has a railroad crossing."
September 27, 2000
September 19, 2000
September 17, 2000
September 4, 2000
September 2, 2000
August 30, 2000
* On Monday, WANE-TV Channel 15 had a small
segment on the Fort Wayne-Amtrak feasibility
study. Here is a link to the story on their website. I don't know how long this link
will be good, though. http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=121713&nav=0RYn0Q6j0HT1
* added Maumee & Western #16 picture to
Woodburn Branch page.
* updated Fort Wayne Hotbox Detectors page; 135.3 and 161.7 detectors are listed.
* updated Links page; added Train Gifs Station link.
* changed St. Joe page.
* updated Railfanning in the Fort Wayne area page.
August 26, 2000
* Michael passed along this article from
today's Lima News. It looks pretty bleak for
any future rail-passenger service in Fort Wayne.
Amtrak upgrade not feasible
By Jim Sabin, The Lima News
Upgrades to the railroad tracks between Crestline and Chicago, including
Lima, will cost too
much to make a return of Amtrak passenger service feasible, a study showed.
The 200-mile stretch of track would require more than $100 million to
properly upgrade for
passenger service, effectively ending a bid to bring a passenger line back to Lima. The city
will instead focus on a high-speed rail initiative, Mayor David Berger said.
"I think it is fair to say that all of us are surprised and disappointed," Berger said.
Officials from Lima, Fort Wayne, Ind., the Ohio Rail Development Commission
and the Indiana
Department of Transportation commissioned the study. They had expected the upgrades to cost
closer to $10 million or $20 million, Berger said.
"With the estimate at roughly five times that, it makes it hard to see
any immediate prospects
for the project," Berger said.
He stopped short of calling the issue dead, however. He cited a new
initiative to include several
Great Lakes states, including Ohio, in a new high-speed rail system. Currently, that system would
bypass Lima in favor of a lakeside route around Lake Michigan and another that would connect
Indianapolis to Cincinnati.
But Columbus remains the largest city without Amtrak service, and a
line connecting Columbus
to Chicago could be petitioned for, Berger said.
"It's a long-term effort. This is not something that's going to happen
next month, next year,"
he said. "It's probably a decade away."
It would also cost a lot more.
"The working estimates that they're using are $1 million per mile,"
he said. Berger added that
he does not know who is in charge of the high-speed rail effort, but he intends to find out in
the coming months and begin lobbying.
The high-speed rail effort, called the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative,
is working to plan a
110-mile-per-hour passenger service linking major Midwest population centers, according to Tom
Beck, rail coordinator for the Indiana transportation department.
"Perhaps the cities of Fort Wayne and Lima could take steps to becoming
a part of that plan,"
Amtrak once had a pair of trains running through Lima and Fort Wayne,
but both moved farther to
the north about 10 years ago after Conrail, the track owner, decided to lower its maintenance on
the tracks. Passenger rails require a higher quality standard than lower-speed freight trains
that now use the track.
August 23, 2000
* Norfolk Southern 4610, the Southern-painted
GP59 was on L80 (the New Castle District
local) today. Look for it around Fort Wayne this week.
* There is a bright yellow switch engine sitting at East Wayne Yard. I couldn't make
out the name. Reliant?
* added WBCR #3 and Van Buren pictures
to Wabash Central page.
* added graphical illustration to Fort Wayne Railroad Frequencies page.
* this site is now part of the Norfolk Southern Webring!
August 13, 2000
* A special thanks goes to my fellow
co-worker, Eric Hitchcock who took me up
in his Ercoupe last week where we followed the Erie Lackawanna right-of-way through
Wells and Huntington counties. Not much can be seen from the air after 15+ years of
shrubbery growth! I posted a few pictures on the EL Wells and Huntington County pages.
* updated Fort Wayne Historical Aspects page. This page has needed a face-lift for quite
some time. Wabash, Pennsy, NYC, and FF&W added.
* rearranged Conrail's Last Day page.
* NS trains 38T/31E are now reflected on Fort Wayne Rail Operations and Conrail's Last
* Main page changed; different Fort Wayne photo and train GIF consist shown.
* updated Links page. Added GR&I page link.
August 1, 2000
* added Wabash Central Railroad page; this
is in lieu of the Bluffton page which
is now removed.
* test your Fort Wayne area rail knowledge on the new Quiz page.
* updated Links page; added "Things that make this site possible"
* added pictures to Erie Lackawanna Adams County and Wells County pages.
* reformated all of the pictures on the pages; this should make viewing somewhat
more unified with any screen resolution.
* new poll added to main page.
July 27, 2000
* updated Links page: mostly in
the EL-related section.
* updated Related Media page: added more books
July 23, 2000
updated Related Media page: added 2 articles
to magazine section.
rearranged this page.
Look for the article on the Clover Leaf
line in the new Fall 2000 issue of Classic Trains
Norfolk Southern appears to have completed
the installation of its new dispatching radio system
in the Fort Wayne area. The base "key up" tones are different and there are no more beeps at
the end of dispatchers' transmissions. This change does not include the NS-Fort Wayne
Dearborn Division side, who currently dispatches the CSX Fort Wayne and Decatur
Secondaries, or the NS Pittsburgh West dispatcher for the CSX Fort Wayne Line west of
July 19, 2000
added picture to Waterloo page.
updated Erie Lackawanna Adams County page; C721 pictures.
updated Indiana Northeastern Railroad page; pictures/audio clips.
July 17, 2000
added Related Media page.
removed TRF banner/link from main page.
added Linking to this site in Other Section on main page.
July 14, 2000
added banner to bottom of Links
July 12, 2000
added pictures to Woodburn and
updated Links page.
July 10, 2000
added Woodburn Branch page.
added guestbook to main page.
July 9, 2000
Skyline Connection reflected on Amtrak
Fort Wayne & Waterloo pages.
Added Three Rivers Festival link/banner to main page.
updated links page.
June 26, 2000
added pictures & 382.7 hotbox detector
recording to Kendallville page.
added more photos to Indiana Northeastern page.
added more photos and edited Erie Lackawanna Wells County page to reflect Meridian Rd bridge removal.
June 21, 2000
added Amtrak: Northeast Indiana Service
poll to main page.
June 20, 2000
rearranged a few things on Safety page.
June 18, 2000
updated Fort Wayne Historical Aspects
June 17, 2000
updated some of my ideas on the Will
Amtrak Ever Return To Fort Wayne? page.
June 12, 2000
added "Amtrak meet at Kendallville" to
June 7, 2000
added Links page, removed "Related Links"
from main page.
May 31, 2000
added pictures to Waterloo & Kendallville
updated "Other" section on St. Joe page.
new picture at Butler added to Safety page.
May 19, 2000
added Amtrak 49 & BNSF pictures &
audio to Butler page.
replaced NS 360.5 detector audio with clearer recording on Butler page.
added silent AVI movie at Goshen to Safety page.
May 14, 2000
added Kendallville page.
removed South Whitley page.
May 13, 2000
added Indiana Northeastern Railroad page.
updated CSX trains on Fort Wayne Rail Operations page.
added Amtrak Waterloo train arrival times to Waterloo page.
May 5, 2000
added Amtrak Service page.
added individual county maps to EL county pages.
April 30, 2000
added picture & movie taken at Monroeville
to the Railroad Safety page.
added new pictures to the Decatur Line page.
added Amtrak #43 at Kendallville to the Audio Files page.
April 5, 2000
added Railfanning In The Fort Wayne Area
March 24, 2000
rearranged the EL page and added Fulton and Wabash Counties.
February 20, 2000
added new CSX train symbols to Fort Wayne
Rail Operations page.
added Amtrak 48 recording from 2/12/00 to Audio Files page.
January 22, 2000
added reprogrammed NS detector to Butler
January 11, 2000
redid Amtrak trains at Waterloo section.
January 2, 2000
added SDI page.
added CSX 8241 picture to St. Joe page.