Archived Changes/News: 2001


Note:  Some links may not work anymore, depending on how old they are.

December 26, 2001
  • Holiday Shutdown:  Unlike last year, NS only parked one train here in Fort Wayne during Christmas.  NS 144 was parked east of Junction on the Fort Wayne Line.  The last train to run through here was 216 on the 24th about 7:30pm.  CSX had nothing parked.  C726 came in from the east on the 24th.
  • Paducah & Louisville Units:  The same GP units mentioned below have been moved to Piqua Yard.  They may go out on Q357 or C726.
  • New Yahoo! Group:  The North Central Indiana Railfans is a new list that deals with prototype railroading in the northern part of Indiana.


December 22, 2001
  • Local High Speed Rail Editorial:  In yesterday's News Sentinel was a guest column written by Geoff Paddock.  Click here to read it.
  • Operational Notes Yesterday:  A Super B23-7,  NS #4097, was in the lead of 307.  Also, 3 Paducah & Louisville geeps were parked at the east end of East Wayne Yard.  218 again ran on the New Castle District.  60R (load) and a 61R (empty) molten sulfur trains operated on the Chicago/Fostoria District in the morning and night, respectively.
  • added interurban bridge photo and depot scene to Monroeville page.  Thanks again Tom!


December 20, 2001
  • Fostoria District Track Work:  I was out along Dawkins Rd. this afternoon and the tie replacement project is nearly completed.  They were still working at NE interlocking and between the West End of Dawkins and Ryan Rd.  It looks like they may finish this up tomorrow.  As mentioned below, this week 218 has been detouring down the New Castle District.  Also, last night a 61N molten sulfur train ran east on the New Castle District.  Not sure if this was rerouted for track work.  I haven't seen one of these in about 6 months.
  • Whistle Banning In Goshen?  It's hard to believe that small communities are persuing this.  Check out this article from today's Elkhart Truth.
  • added interurban depot and Pennsy depot pictures to the Monroeville page.  Thanks Tom!
  • added Pennsy hotel photo to the Delphos page.  Thanks John!


December 18, 2001
  • Maumee & Western Bridge Burned:  A bridge on the Maumee & Western in Cecil, Ohio caught on fire last week and caused some structural damage.  Arson is the suspected cause.  Here is a short story from the Toledo Blade.  The damaged bridge leaves the MAW's ex-Wabash line in two segments.
  • CSX Derailment In St. Joe:  There was a derailment near St. Joe, Indiana on the Garrett Subdivison yesterday morning.  "spider" on the message board said that L161 derailed some empty flats.
  • Fostoria District Trackwork:  A tie replacement project is underway on the Fostoria District.  This morning 218 ran on the New Castle District most likely because of this.


December 11, 2001
  • WC Cowl Round 2:  Yesterday the Wisconsin Central FP45 #6652 and the 7499 were again at Piqua Yard.  They left on Q357 but did not lead and were dead-in-tow behind 2 CSX units.  Evidently there was some engine trouble on the power set when it came in on Q356 the previous night.
  • Derailment In Winchester IN:  Yesterday morning there was a derailment on the CSX Indianapolis Line Sub. near Winchester.  At least 5 CSX Indy Line trains detoured through Fort Wayne.  Some went on the New Castle District and some via the Huntington District.  I caught a glimpse of one detour by the airport late yesterday afternoon. I'm not exactly sure how these trains went east out of Fort Wayne. Click here for an article about the derailment from the Muncie Star Press site
  • New CSX train?  The past week or so there has been a J021 operating on the Fort Wayne Line west of Fort Wayne.  It almost sounds like it's doing the old west local route (WDFW-04).
  • replaced picture/logo on main page.
  • updated Fort Wayne Rail Operations page; NS train symbols.  465 no longer operates, replaced by 143.
  • updated Links page.
  • added WC 6652 recording to the Audio Files page.  Check it out!


December 9, 2001
  • WC Cowl Unit On Q357:  Yesterday's Q357 had a Wisconsin Central FP45 #6652 leading and WC 7499 (SD45) trailing.  This was worth a chase, and then some!  With all of the grain cars trailing it almost resembled a passenger train.

WC FP45 #6652 proudly leads westbound Q357-08 out 
of town yesterday afternoon on the CSX Fort Wayne Line.
This is at Hadley Rd.

  • NS 20T Odd Power:  Also a bit unusual yesterday, NS 20T had GP40-2 #3006 in the lead.
  • NS Holiday Operating Schedule:  from the NS Corporate website....
December 3, 2001

Christmas and New Year Holiday Operating Plan

In response to reduced customer demands during the Christmas holiday weekend, Norfolk Southern will begin a curtailment of operations on December 22. Operations will be reduced to minimal levels by December 24, as necessary to meet customer demand where necessary and to provide for fluid operations in critical areas to enable a smooth transition to normal service levels on December 26, following the holiday period. During the period of reduced operations, every effort will be made to minimize impact on customer operations while allowing Norfolk Southern employees to spend time with their families over the holiday.  The same plan will be followed for the New Year holiday period beginning December 29th. 



December 5, 2001
  • NS 143 & 144 Are Back!  Early this morning about 5:30am I heard NS 143 running through on the New Castle District.  NS 144 came through this afternoon.  Good to see them back after several years.
  • High Speed Rail vs I-69 Extension:  This article was in today's Journal-Gazette.  The push continues to get the route to come through Fort Wayne.  "Long-troubled service provided by Amtrak" - what???
High-speed rail backers work to build coalition
By David Griner 
The Journal Gazette 

City, county and state leaders from northeast Indiana agreed Tuesday that high-speed rail service through the area will require a broad coalition of state legislators to become a reality.

State Sen. Charles "Bud" Meeks, R-Leo-Cedarville, told a gathering of passenger rail supporters that the highly anticipated effort to bring 110-mph trains through Fort Wayne "could not come at a worse time."  The state already is looking at the strong possibility of a $1 billion budget shortfall, and Meeks said rail supporters must vie for dollars that southern Indiana legislators will want to put toward an Interstate 69 extension.  "The critical thing is a coalition of northwest legislators and northeast legislators, so we're pulling together as a block of northern legislators to pull this off," Meeks said. "Southern Indiana is totally focused on the I-69 (extension) project."

Meeks met Tuesday with Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard, Warsaw Mayor Ernest Wiggins, Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce officials, and members of the Fort Wayne City Council and Allen County Council. The group came together to discuss what it would take to put Fort Wayne on the proposed map for a high-speed rail system based in Chicago.  Two routes are being considered to connect Chicago and Cleveland. One would cut straight across northern Indiana through South Bend and bypass Fort Wayne. The other would swing south through Fort Wayne and Warsaw.

Indiana's share of the massive construction project is estimated at $80 million to $140 million. Planners expect the federal government to pick up 80 percent of the cost, leaving Indiana with up to $28 million of the tab in the coming decade.  Tuesday's gathering of passenger train supporters from Fort Wayne and Warsaw ended with a sort of to-do list they hope will help make progress toward the goal of high-speed rail service.  The group agreed to draft a non-binding resolution for state legislators to sign in support of high-speed rail. Also, Meeks recommended assembling a list of private industries and lobby groups, such as steel manufacturers, who will favor the effort.

Tom Cain, a senior planner for Fort Wayne, said a more subtle move will be to make people see the proposal as separate from the long-troubled service provided by Amtrak.  "The system is not meant to run the way Amtrak has been run," Cain said.  "There's a strong move to disassociate this system from Amtrak."

  • new poll added to main page.


December 1, 2001
  • New Train:  NS 13N now runs on the Fostoria/Chicago Districts.  This train runs westbound from Bellevue to the IHB's Gibson Yard and was previously run on the Chicago Line.
  • Deshler, OH Fundraiser:  Next Saturday December 8th  there will be a fundraiser at the Deshler Crossroads Railroad Park beginning at 2pm.  All funds will go towards maintainence and improvements projects for the park.


November 14, 2001
  • Chicago District TCS in Fort Wayne:  According to "halfmoonharold" on the TCS on the Chicago District between Runnion and Four Mile began on Monday.
  • NS Thanksgiving Operations:  Several intermodal trains on 11/22 will be annulled, including 20A, 21A, 20T, and 234.  This is the full listing (Acrobat Reader format).  No word on conventional service.
  • High-Speed Rail Update:  There was evidently some sort of local conference today on high-speed rail.  There was a short blurb on Channel 33 about it tonight.  A feasibility study is due out in January or February.
  • Garrett Derailment:  There was a minor derailment in Garrett yesterday morning.  This is an article from the kpcnews site:
Freight car derails near Garrett underpass

November 13, 2001 - GARRETT - A minor train derailment in Garrett early today caused CSX Transportation officials a few hours of grief, but the problem was solved without stopping other rail traffic.  Trainmaster Tom Ferris said the incident occurred at 5:15 a.m., just east of Randolph Street, where the CSX tracks cross the Herbert P. Kleeman Underpass. "It was a simple derailment due to slack action," Ferris said. "It derailed one car. It was kind of a non-event, really."  At about 8:10 a.m., Ferris said cranes were on their way to the site to get the stray car back on track.



October 28, 2001
  • DRGW power:  NS 307 had a Denver & Rio Grande Western SD50 on the point this afternoon.

This is at Dunfee, Indiana.  An SP SD40T-2 was in trail.


October 24, 2001
  • Is NS 21T Back?:  This might just be a symbol change, but 21T ran through this morning on the Huntington District, possibly in lieu of I1A.
  • Upcoming NBC33 Segment:  Tomorrow NBC33 is supposed to have a program called "On A Dangerous Track" on the 10pm news.  Click here for their special report page.


October 17, 2001
  • Corunna Derailment - Chicago Line Re-opened:  The NS Chicago Line was opened up sometime today, per NS service alert.  Below is an article from today's News Sentinel about the derailment.  The Journal Gazette today featured a front page article, complete with a photo.  There were still a few reroutes through Fort Wayne this morning, including 206 and an I3W (or 23W).
Derailment cleared; both tracks reopen

From staff, wire reports 

Representatives with Norfolk Southern Railroad said it will be days before it is known why 32 of 89 cars derailed Monday night in DeKalb County near Corunna.  Both eastbound and westbound tracks reopened Tuesday night.

The train was carrying general merchandise and pulling empty cars when it left the tracks at 7:25 p.m. Monday, said Susan Bland, public relations manager for the Norfolk, Va.-based railroad.No injuries were reported in the wreck, seven miles east of Kendallville. One of the derailed cars carried a hazardous material, but the tanker wasn't ruptured and posed no threat, she said. Another car carrying almost 1,000 pounds of baking soda spilled on the ground, but also didn't pose a hazardous threat, she said.

  • CSX OCS Operates On Fort Wayne Line:  After waiting for several dozen dignitaries to board the CSX OCS (CSX P959-17) departed Piqua Yd. westbound for Warsaw this morning around 11am.  Arrival back in Fort Wayne was around 3pm.  It was well after dark by the time the train departed eastbound from Piqua Yd. (by Adams at 7pm). The westbound power was B36-7 #5918 and C40-8W #7830 pulling 8 office cars.  Eastbound was the reverse.  I initially caught the train at Arcola.  It slowed down to 10 mph while passing the Whitley Co. SDI plant and I was able to easily beat it to Columbia City.
Arcola, Indiana

This is at the Eme Rd. crossing in Arcola next to the co-op elevator.  Peek-a-boo sun was the order of the day as the train passed by on clickity-clack Pennsy rails.  I actually got quite a few waves from the folks on board.
Audio [Real Audio (stereo), 212K, 43 sec.]

Columbia City

The sun finally rears its bright self as P959-17 rolls by westbound at the River St. crossing in Columbia City at 12:02pm.
  • archived Changes/News August 28 and earlier.


October 16, 2001
  • NS Derailment In Corunna:  Last night at about 7:15 pm westbound NS 17N derailed near the De Kalb County Road 3 crossing just west of Corunna, Indiana on the NS Chicago Line.  12 of the train's 89 cars were derailed.  Apparently no hazardous chemicals were spilled, but initially it was treated as a hazmat situation.  Currently the mainline is blocked and is expected to reopen sometime this evening.  Several NS trains have already been detouring through Fort Wayne using the Chicago/Fostoria District routing.  No cause of the derailment so far.


October 14, 2001
  • CSX OCS Coming To Fort Wayne:  A CSX office car special is scheduled to run on the Fort Wayne Line this week.  Arrival at Piqua Yard from Lima is expected on Tuesday afternoon (10/16).  The train will depart westbound the next day in the morning for Warsaw, returning back east the same day. See Rob's post on the message board here.
  • NS STB Operational Monitoring Report:  Norfolk Southern's latest STB report was released last week.  No changes on the status of future projects in the area.  The report is available here. (PDF format)


October 11, 2001
Dad, son produce 40-ton artwork
Buying and restoring steam locomotive fulfills one lifelong dream for an Amtrak engineer.
Story by Paul Fletcher of the (Angola) Herald-Republican. 

Associated Press
October 08, 2001

ASHLEY, Ind. -- She's big and black. She's 70 years old, weighs 40 tons and requires a whole lot of water.  For about 40 years, until 1991 when she moved to Steuben County, she spent all her time alone in the woods in upstate New York. She was sold for scrap value -- 2 cents per pound -- because her owners didn't care much about her. She's so old it takes awhile to get her day started -- usually about three hours. She doesn't really have a name, but at least for now, she'll be called Ann.

Barney Gramling has three life goals -- to drive a passenger train, to own a steam locomotive and to farm 10,000 acres in Nebraska. Two of those goals he's already accomplished, but the Nebraska farming adventure is yet to happen.

Gramling became interested in trains at about age 12 when he went to work for the Little River Railroad in Pleasant Lake. He started out as a car painter, then worked his way into a mechanic's position. Now, he's an Amtrak engineer, making regular runs out of Toledo to Chicago and Pittsburgh.  That takes care of one goal.
The idea of owning a steam locomotive became reality in 1991 when Barney and his father, John, bought a 1930 0-4-0T locomotive built by Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.  That's how Ann got from New York to Steuben County.

It took the Gramlings five trips to get the locomotive back to their farm. They had to disassemble it and bring it home in pieces. After they got it home, they completely restored it. It turned into a 10-year father-and-son project.  Due to an extensive farming background, the Gramlings know about mechanics, metals and hydraulics. They understand machinery. So, they say, it wasn't that big of a deal to restore an 80,000-pound steam locomotive.  Ann was fired up recently and ran on the 220 feet of railroad track laid down on the gravel drive in front of John's house.  According to John's estimate, about 250 people showed up -- some for rides and others out of sheer curiosity.  "It's awful gratifying after 10 years," Barney said. "The fun we've had is restoring it. Now the fun is over, and it's time to go  find another one."

They've already found it. It's lying in John's barn in pieces. Restoration efforts probably will begin sometime this winter.  "This one will probably go a lot quicker," Barney said.  In owning and restoring a steam engine, the Gramlings have met train aficionados from across the country and had much help with their efforts. They've been laughed at by some. They've even laughed at themselves at times, but they never gave up on their project.
As far as the name of the engine, she really doesn't have one. But John and Barney have considered naming her "Ann," because that's the middle name of both their wives.

Community members get behind railroad cleanup plans
By Amy Oberlin

ANGOLA - Drivers may have noticed that the railroad crossing on C.R. 200N near Angola has been cleared up a little bit.  It's the first on a rather comprehensive list of crossings slated for cleanup by the Indiana NorthEastern Railroad Co. The clearing of brush and other obstructions at 37 crossings in Steuben and LaGrange counties will be made possible through a state grant, but the need for the work has been brought to the forefront by a tenacious lady named Marlene Hall.

Hall is the aunt of Kyla Petre, the daughter of Wanda Petre, 37, of rural Angola, who died when her car was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train on July 1 at a railroad crossing near Blakeslee, Ohio. Kyla's sisters, 14-year-old Amber and 11-year-old Chelsey, were also killed in the crash along with their cousin, 12-year-old Bradley Krontz, and a friend, 10-year-old Chelsea Green.

One day, when Kyla and Hall were driving across the C.R. 200N crossing, Kyla expressed concern with the potential dangerousness of the overgrown foliage there. At that time, Hall started a mission to get that crossing, and all hard-to-see crossings in Steuben County, cleared.  Hall, some community members and Krontz' mother, Mary Beattie, have been working for several weeks trying to identify areas where they could increase railroad safety. Gale Shultz, owner of the Indiana North Eastern Railroad Co., said he'd be happy to help. "I understand where they're coming from and we're going to try to work with them until we can get the brush cutter going," he said.

His workers had gone out to C.R. 200N earlier this year, and went back again last week to clear more bushes and tall grass.  "The railroad cleaned it up," said Hall happily after the crews had been to the site, "and the only word I can use is, "Wow."  Northern Indiana Public Service Co. also had a hand in the cleanup when its workers went there to clean out around utility poles.

That intersection is the most dangerous one in the county, according to Shultz. Train traffic itself is very slow in Steuben County, running 5 mph to 10 mph, but vehicle traffic has increased on 200 North due to the Meijer store being built at its intersection with State Road 127 and other development occurring. Shultz thinks that lights and gates may be fitting at that crossing, though funds for such an upgrade can be hard to come by.

Other areas brought to Shultz' attention by Beattie were crossings at County Road 50 West near Pleasant Lake and on County Road 300 South. "We'll work to get them trimmed back too," Shultz said.  But that's only the beginning. Indiana North Eastern Railroad Co. has purchased an on-track brush cutter.   "This winter we're going to open the whole railroad up," said Shultz. The work will coincide with crossing cleanup made possible by an Indiana Department of Transportation grant, and it is currently slated for December.  Shultz applied for the funds through the Passive Crossing Safety Improvement Program prior to the accident in Ohio. A passive crossing is one that does not have lights or gates. Almost all of the crossings in Steuben County are passive.

The approximately $43,000 granted to Indiana North Eastern will allow for cleanup at 37 railroad crossings. Most of them are in Steuben County, though a few will be addressed in LaGrange County. Indiana North Eastern has 103 miles of track and about 80 crossings stretching from South Milford to Montgomery, Ohio, into southern Steuben County and 50 miles into Michigan.

Shultz noted that the improvements he had planned fit right in with the vigilant efforts of Hall, Beattie and others in the wake of the tragic accident in Ohio.  "It's kind of interesting how all this is happening at the same time," he said. Hall has said she wants to continue to work for railroad safety in Steuben County, though her schedule keeps her pretty busy. She said she had a lot of people to thank for their help in her endeavors, including Angola Police Officer Chuck Thomas.

Beattie has taken over a lot of the footwork on the railroad safety front, and has been contacting township officials trying to raise awareness. She also plans to contact state administrators, such as Sen. Robert Meeks, R-LaGrange, "and see what more we can do."


October 8, 2001
  • Kingsland Wreck Presentation:  For the past month or so I've seen Charlie Willer's presentation on the Kingsland interurban wreck on Channel 55 (Cable Access).  He shows maps, articles, photos, movies, and even the daughter of one of the motormen involved in the crash tells her story.  Very interesting stuff, indeed.
  • CEFX SD90MAC:  NS 17J and 18Q have had CEFX 120 back and forth in the lead for a few days now.  This red giant is quite a catch if you can find it. 18Q runs through usually around midnight and 17J is early in the AM.
  • Article On High-Speed Rail:  This is a month late, but there was a very interesting article in the 9/9/01 Journal Gazette about the future of high-speed rail in the area.  Maybe some of you saw this already, but here is the text from the article which appeared in the "Perspectives" section. Waterloo is dark and forbidding?
Sunday, September 9, 2001

The case for high-speed rail
After a good start, hardest part of train revival lies ahead

by Joe Beck
The Journal Gazette

More than nostalgia for Fort Wayne's past as a railroad town drew hundreds of people to a public hearing last month about an ambitious proposal for introducing high-speed passenger rail service.

The Indiana Department of Transportation was looking for signs that the public would support the establishment of a line connecting Fort Wayne with Chicago and Cleveland. The answer was a resounding "yes," judging from the crowd that overflowed from the Allen County Public Library auditorium.  "It was overwhelming to see that much support," said Geoff Paddock, who is leading a public-private task force formed to resurrect passenger rail service.

If it returns, riders will be in for an experience unlike anything they knew before the last Amtrak train pulled out of the city almost a decade ago. High- speed trains are designed to do much more than provide rail buffs with a romantic traveling experience; the main goal is to compete with cars and airplanes in speed, cost and passenger comfort.

INDOT officials are confident it can be done. They say a high-speed train route between Chicago and Cleveland can complete a one-way run in three hours and 46 minutes. Amtrak now requires at least six hours and 32 minutes. Speeds of up to 110 mph, comfortable seats and more leg room would be the biggest improvements. Fares would be slightly lower than discount airlines.

Despite the public hearing's success, passenger rail service in general and Fort Wayne in particular must overcome formidable fiscal, political and economic hurdles before trains begin arriving again at the Baker Street station. Impending decisions in Washington and Indianapolis are the biggest question marks.

One of the most important events will fall in November or December when an infrastructure consultant hired by INDOT delivers recommendations on the most suitable route for new passenger train service.  The consultant's recommendations will heavily influence whatever final route decision INDOT makes. All depends on which of two routes under consideration is projected to produce the highest ridership for the least cost.

Meanwhile, INDOT is awaiting a funding decision in Congress. The General Assembly must also deliver some money if Congress comes through. Paddock estimates at least six more years before passenger trains roll through Fort Wayne again - if ever. Here are a few questions and answers that weigh heavily in determining the final outcome.

Q. What can high-speed rail offer Fort Wayne travelers that cars and airplanes can't?

A. Airplanes remain more practical for long distances and cars are unbeatable for short trips. But high-speed trains hold unique advantages for those bound for specific cities, such as Chicago or Cleveland.  Trains are safer and more reliable in bad weather. Rain, snow, ice, fog and extreme cold are much less likely to interfere with train service. Those traveling from one city's downtown to another will arrive within a few blocks of their destinations, thus eliminating the time and expense of renting a car or traveling by cab from an airport. Parking is not a worry.

Traffic is bogging down in the air as well as on the road. Some speakers at the public hearing noted that Fort Wayne faces continued difficulty in offering direct, low-cost air fares to Chicago. Bob Wearley, director of marketing at Fort Wayne International Airport, endorsed high-speed trains, noting that the runways at O'Hare Field in Chicago are "absolutely saturated" and likely to remain so for the next 10 years.  "High speed rail can be a safety valve to relieve that pressure," Wearley said.

Q. Is high-speed rail important to economic development?

A. Karen Goldner, the city's economic development director, regards it as critical. She believes high-speed rail holds more promise for the city than the much-discussed extension of Interstate 69 through southern Indiana. Goldner argues high-speed rail will grow in popularity through the 21st century and become indispensable to city transportation networks. Cities have flourished and died according to whether they have access to railroads and highways, she says.  "If you can't travel somewhere, you tend not to go there," she said. "That's certainly true of business."

John Gerni, a lobbyist for Lincoln Financial Group, told INDOT officials at the public hearing that passenger train service would be a major asset for his firm. The many Lincoln employees who attend conferences and meetings in Chicago would gladly board the trains arriving and departing within a block or two of their offices, Gerni said.  High-speed rail can help Lincoln more easily fulfill its plans for expanding its annuities operation, he added.  "We intend to grow this business more, and we intend to grow it in Fort Wayne," Gerni declared.

Q. What alternatives to Fort Wayne is INDOT considering for passenger trains?

A. Any high-speed rail service in Indiana will be part of a nine-state regional rail network headquartered in Chicago. Northeast Indiana will retain passenger trains under either of two options under consideration. The only question is whether the route will essentially follow the existing Amtrak route north through Waterloo, Elkhart and South Bend, bypassing Fort Wayne. A new route through Fort Wayne would include Warsaw and Valparaiso or Gary.

Q. What's wrong with the Amtrak service available in Waterloo?

A. The main problems are accessibility, size and comfort. The Waterloo stop is much harder to reach for most Fort Wayne residents than the Baker Street depot. The stark plastic hut marking the Waterloo stop can't even be called a depot. It offers only limited protection against the elements and is a dark and forbidding place at night.  In contrast, the Baker Street depot is on its way to restoration as a magnificent, centrally located landmark that stirs warm memories among those who once took trains from there.

Q. What other advantages does Fort Wayne have to offer as a train stop?

A. The city is a major population center roughly equal distances from Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The more northern route is already hard pressed to handle all the trains using it, mostly for hauling freight. Additional track would probably require buying more private land, businesses and homes, a process often fraught with uncertainties and delays.  The route connecting Fort Wayne to Chicago and Cleveland has the right of way in place. Laying new track on existing roadbeds is all that's required.

Q. How much will this cost and how will it be paid for?

A. Paddock estimates up to $1 million per mile. Financing depends on Congress passing Senate Bill 250, the High Speed Rail Investment Act. It authorizes Amtrak to sell $12 billion in bonds over 10 years to pay for high- speed rail corridors across the country.  The money would be used for signals, improving or eliminating grade crossings, upgrading and buying railroad equipment and constructing lines. States receiving the federal money must commit to meeting at least 20 percent of the project costs with their own funding.

Q. What position are our members of Congress taking on the federal spending plan?

A. Nobody is against it, but enthusiasm varies. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., has signed on to the bill. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is holding back for now. He has been peppering Amtrak officials with questions focusing on whether Indiana will get its fair share of money if the bill passes.  Rep. Mark Souder, R-4th, is the most skeptical. He doubts the bill will pass, despite sponsorship from senators as diverse as Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. Souder insists "mass transit is a difficult option," compared with the ease of car and air travel. Nevertheless, he says he will try to obtain any money for high speed rail that Congress makes available.  "I want to do what I can, that if there's high-speed rail, it comes to Fort Wayne," he said.

Citizens and civic leaders have made an excellent case for the city to state transportation officials. Unfortunately, the heavy turnout at the public hearing is far from a guarantee of success. The next step is to turn up the pressure on members of Congress and the General Assembly whose commitment to high-speed rail isn't as strong. The hardest part is yet to come.

  • updated NE page; operations section.
  • new poll added to main page, old one archived.


September 26, 2001
  • I&O Excursion:  An excursion on the Indiana & Ohio Railway from Lima to Springfield, OH is scheduled on October 13 and 14.  More info is available here.  The Little River Railroad also has some Fall excursions this time of year.
  • Nuclear Train Postponed:  The nuclear waste train that was supposed to pass through Fort Wayne this summer has been put on hold due to the September 11 attacks.  If it doesn't pass through by October 30, it will be on hold until after April 1 of next year.  An article about it in today's Journal-Gazette can be found here.


September 20, 2001
  • NS Huntington District Mail Trains:  Effective immediately, intermodal service between St. Louis/Kansas City to the Northeastern United States will be reduced to 5-days per week, with trains departing on Mon-Fri. only.  According to the schedules on the the NS website this will effect 20A and 20T.  These trains will not run through the Fort Wayne area on Sunday or Monday until further notice.  21A is still shown 6 days per week.  208/207 are not affected.  Links: Norfolk Southern Intermodal Schedules,  Official Service Announcement 9/18/01


September 18, 2001
  • According to the NS Intermodal site, there was some significant trackwork being done on the Huntington District around Peru last week.  Tie replacement on the line was being done all last month.  Click here for more info.
  • I noticed on the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum's website they have some very interesting historical photos including the Clover Leaf depot in Bluffton, IN and the Erie/PRR tower at Delong, IN.  Maybe you've seen these, but go to their website and click on "Historical Photos" on the left side.
  • In the new October Trains Magazine on pages 72-73 there is a map that shows tonnage changes from 1971-2000 on the lines that once served and are still serving Chicago.  Included is a comparison of the Erie Lackawanna and Pennsy mains across Indiana and Ohio.  Valparaiso to Fort Wayne compares 29 ton miles in 1971 with less than 5 in 1999/2000.  Today it is probably much less.


September 6, 2001
  • Let The Grains Begin:  As the Fall season rapidly approaches, the 500-series trains are already starting to appear more frequently.  Yesterday late afternoon a 51W ran south on the New Castle District, enroute to Forsyth, GA of all places.  Last Sunday I caught a northbound 50K on the same line.
  • Chicago District Signaling:  Jim reported on the message board that the new signals at Thomas Rd. are now active.  The C&S dept. has been working on the new signaling between Four Mile and Hadley quite a bit recently.  You can hear them on channel 2 most days.  This project is part of the upcoming TCS system.
  • main page:  new poll added, old poll archived; changed Train GIF.
  • added Gay St. photo to Contributor page; rearranged the layout a bit.

August 28 ,2001
  • New Castle District - another one gone:  NS 174 [Macon GA - Chicago] is now being routed via the Marion Branch.  This provides a more direct route to get cars from the Macon and Chattanooga Yards into Elkhart.  This was previously done with CHEL (144), which was abolished sometime last year.  The northern end of the New Castle District is now down to a mere 12-13 regular trains per day, which is by far the lowest I've seen on it in 5 years.
  • Norfolk Southern Labor Day Operations:  Intermodal -This PDF file shows Norfolk Southern's intermodal operating schedule for the upcoming holiday weekend.  Annulled intermodal trains that run through Fort Wayne will be: 233, 20A and 21A of Sept.3,  217 and 234 of Sept.4.  Freight - Other than local service, a fairly normal operation is expected according to this NS service alert.
  • 21A, You Still There?  For the past 1 1/2 weeks I have only heard 21A once on the Fort Wayne Line and that day the dispatcher wasn't expecting him.  20T is still using the line as of this evening.
  • Huntington Dispatcher Ads A Channel:  The Huntington District dispatcher can now talk on NS channel 2 (161.250 - AAR 76) in Fort Wayne.  This is mostly because Roadrailers use this channel when they are in the Triple Crown yard.  The primary Huntington District channel stays the same on NS channel 3.


August 22, 2001


August 14, 2001
  • FWRRHS Open House:  This weekend will be the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's Annual Open House.  Click here for more details.  It will be held August 17, 18, & 19 from 10-4pm.  Thanks for the reminder Glenn!
  • NS Future projects:  Norfolk Southern's recent Surface Transportation Monitoring Report lists the Hadley Jct. project in Fort Wayne as "project on hold pending evaluation of revised traffic requirements" as of July 31, 2001.  Click here for the full document (PDF file).
  • CEFX Units:  NS has been leasing several of these locomotives recently.  Keep an eye out for them.  This morning 15E had 2 of the ex-BN units in the lead.

August 8, 2001
  • This article appeared in today's Elkhart Truth.  Looks like the turnout at the South Bend/Mishawaka hearing was a small fraction of the large group of supporters here last week.
Supporters turn out for high-speed rail system
Study to determine best route for service

Wed, Aug 8, 2001
By Trevor Wendzonka
Truth Staff

MISHAWAKA -- A quicker way from Chicago to just about anywhere in the Midwest won't come cheap, but state transportation officials are putting high-speed rail on the map.

Just don't believe the map.  No one in the group of 50 people attending Tuesday evening's meeting at the downtown library branch spoke against Indiana becoming part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative. In fact, the dozen or so who spoke stuck to one theme -- make sure the line passes through South Bend and Elkhart.

A consultant will soon start the northern Indiana corridor study to determine the best route. Mike Scime of the Indiana Department of Transportation told the group to ignore the two lines at the top of the state map -- one which ran mostly along the Indiana Toll Road, and another which dipped down through Marshall and Kosciusko counties on the way to Fort Wayne.  "We have to start somewhere, and those are just the existing rail lines,'' Scime said. "It might turn out that the best service we can provide is through both this area and Fort Wayne. But we have to keep in mind, this is high-speed transportation, and it can't stop every 50 miles.''

The entire project will reach into the billions.  Construction in Indiana could run in the $600 million range, but federal funds likely would pick up 80 percent of the cost.

"I think you will find very strong support for this initiative,'' said Gary Gilot, South Bend's public works director and a former member of the Elkhart city administration. "This is an environmentally friendly form of transportation. It makes economic sense for the community, bringing in some tourist dollars and expanding the reach of our businesses. And, it's a very safe form of transportation.''

State Sen. Marvin Riegsecker, R-Goshen, said he has long supported high-speed rail and tried to change the gasoline sales tax formulas to support the project during the last legislative session.  "I think we've found out we're not going to just be able to pull money like that out of the budget," said Riegsecker, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. "This is an especially important issue for the highly urbanized parts of the state, so it will get noticed. We can't build roads fast enough to keep up with the transportation needs.''

Scime said high-speed rail transportation is more fuel efficient and certainly not as loud and rumbling as regular freight-train traffic. Accommodations will be made on the trains for commuters to plug in laptop computers or for groups to have meetings or meals.

Consultants say the prices will be lower than airfare between the major cities. A round-trip ticket from Chicago to Indianapolis, for example, may cost $80 to $100.

The study on the northern Indiana link could be ready in November, Scime said. As soon as funds become available and the state makes a commitment to the project, the system could be running in a decade.

  • added Mike Tower photo to the Contributor page;  a very cool photo.  Thanks again Bob!
  • added "IC in rain" audio to Audio Files page; deleted Amtrak #44 11/20/99 recording.


August 2, 2001
  • The public hearing tonight was a success and showed INDOT officials that there is unanimous support by the Fort Wayne area community to bring back passenger rail service.  See my recap on the Message Board.  I'd be interested in hearing some of your comments, too.
  • It looks like NS 217 and 218 are temporarily routed off the New Castle District and back onto the old Fostoria/Sandusky District routing through Bellevue and Columbus.  This might be due to trackwork on the Cincinnati District "Peavine" in southwestern Ohio, which is how these two trains have been running since October 2000.
  • I actually saw the rebuilt GP38-2 #5509 on the front of a train today.  It was on 307 this morning.
  • added Piqua Yard pictures to the Contributor page;  Thanks Bob!
  • new poll added to main page;  results of old one archived.


August 1, 2001
  • Don't forget the INDOT's public hearing for high-speed passenger rail will be tomorrow 5-7pm at the Allen County Public Library downtown. 

  • One of the local news stations said that South Bend and Fort Wayne are in competition with each other for any future high-speed rail service.  Another public hearing is scheduled in Mishawaka next Tuesday.  This press release shows the various upcoming hearing dates around the state. Below article is from today's Journal-Gazette.
City hoping for good turnout at high-speed railway hearing 
By David Griner 
The Journal Gazette 

Mayor Graham Richard, flanked Tuesday by economic development advocates, urged area residents to
attend a public hearing this week and rally for a high-speed rail stop in Fort Wayne.

The city generally has been left out of plans for a line that could carry passengers at speeds above 100 mph from Chicago to Cleveland. Richard said he, the business community and residents need to show interstate rail planners why Fort Wayne would be a valuable link.  "I'm less concerned with why we're not there and more concerned with how we get there," Richard said.

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host a public forum at 5 p.m. Thursday in the main branch of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Webster St.  State officials will be seeking input on the Midwest Regional Passenger Rail System, which would involve extensive track upgrades to accommodate modern train service through the region.  Business leaders hope the passenger service brings commercial activity to an area such as Fort Wayne's Baker Street Station,  which has been undergoing renovation.  Also, multiple trains each day would be a convenience for business that regularly send employees by air to Chicago, Cleveland and other nearby cities that would be on the high-speed rail line.

Although Amtrak removed service from Fort Wayne a decade ago, citing low ridership, Fort Wayne Economic Development Director Karen Goldner said the new service would be more popular because of the increased speed and regularity.

Advocates for a stop in Fort Wayne said public turnout at Thursday's hearing will be a key factor in persuading rail planners to link with the Summit City.  "We really need people to show up, to show they're interested in high-speed rail," said Jeanne Shaheen, executive director of Invent Tomorrow.

Fort Wayne could stand to benefit economically from renewed and improved passenger service, but Goldner said residents need to think about the lost opportunities if the system were to bypass the city.  "It's not that it would be so positive to be on it," Goldner said, "as it would be negative to be off it."


July 30, 2001


July 26, 2001
  • Conrail SD50s Still On The Prowl.  The ex-Conrail SD50s are still grinding away, as NS 21A had #5433 in the lead today.

This is at Van Wert, Ohio.


July 25, 2001
  • CSX ran a G511-20 yesterday evening on the Fort Wayne Line.  Never heard this train before.  It came in from the east and went into Piqua Yd.  This morning a G844 departed east on the Fort Wayne Line.
  • Local high-speed rail advocate Geoff Paddock was on Channel 15 news this evening.  There was a segment about the high-speed rail public hearing that is to be held next week.  Click here for the story.  If you go to the WANE-TV home page there is a poll you can take on this subject.


July 20, 2001
  • Rail Passenger Service Public Hearing in Fort Wayne:  It looks like this meeting will be held as stated in the Warsaw Times-Union article below.  The following article comes from today's Journal Gazette.  I'll make an attempt to be at this meeting.
Train group seeks state support
Goal is to bring Amtrak passenger service back to Fort Wayne
By David Griner
The Journal Gazette 

Activists working to get passenger train service to return to Fort Wayne said Thursday they will use an upcoming public hearing to plead their case with state officials.

"To some extent, this is the fruition of a lot of effort to at least get some attention for this issue," said Geoff Paddock, a spokesman for the High Speed Rail Strategy Task Force."  Through our efforts, we've kind of gotten on the radar screen, and we feel we have a lot to offer here."

The Indiana Department of Transportation will conduct a public forum at 5 p.m. Aug. 2 in the main branch of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Webster St.  State officials seek input on the Midwest Regional Passenger Rail System, which will involve extensive track upgrades to accommodate modern train service through the region. Paddock and Fort Wayne economic development proponents hope to persuade  the state that the Summit City has much to offer in return for Amtrak service.  The passenger train company pulled its stations out of Fort Wayne in 1990.

Paddock said he and other rail advocates will point out factors in the city's favor, such as the availability of right of way between Fort Wayne and Chicago that could be used for a new line.  The renovation of the Baker Street station and Fort Wayne's standing as the state's second-largest city also will be cited as key attributes, Paddock said.  Time could be on the city's side, since Fort Wayne will host the second of seven  hearings statewide between July 24 and Sept. 11.  "One of the good things is we're second on a long list," Paddock said. "We have a chance to make our case early."

  • New Marion Branch Trains:  The new Marion Branch trains mentioned below are 17M and 18M.  These trains run between Elkhart and Linwood, NC.  NS actually ran similar trains ELLI and LIEL in the first few months after the Conrail acquisition but they were dropped sometime last year.


July 19, 2001
  • Marion Branch To Gain 2 Trains:  According to an article in today's Elkhart Truth, Norfolk Southern will add 2 more trains to the Marion Branch by the end of this week.  Anyone know which ones will be rerouted?  I'm assuming it will be 2 of the present New Castle District trains.  Here is the full article:
Daily train traffic to increase
Additional two trains to make trip through city

Thu, Jul 19, 2001
By Thomas V. Bona
Truth Staff

GOSHEN -- Two more freight trains will be making daily trips on the north/south railroad line through the city by the end of the week.  That will increase traffic on the one-track Big Four line to nine trains a day, according to Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Bland.  The slight increase may mean an occasional extra delay at the 12 crossings through the city, including heavily used crossings at Madison Street, College Avenue and Kercher Road.

Bland said one route has been moved to this line to increase efficiency. That route will bring one northbound and one southbound train through Goshen daily.  She added that there are no current plans for any more increases on that line. "Business conditions are currently not in the greatest shape," she said.

There is no overpass or underpass along the line in Goshen, which sometimes causes problems when a train is moving slowly or stopped in town. Fire trucks and ambulances occasionally get stuck at one of the crossings when trying to cross town, but Fire Chief John Alheim said it's not a huge problem.  He added that the increase will not cause much more inconvenience for his department, "unless they start adding 200-car trains."

Norfolk Southern crews repaired most of the crossings on the line in Goshen earlier this year. The line goes past several factories along Ninth Street and through the campuses of Goshen College and Bethany Christian Schools.

  • Warsaw, Indiana: A High Speed Rail Stop?  This article came from yesterday's Warsaw Times-Union.  According to the article there will be a public hearing on August 2nd at the Allen County Library.
Warsaw Possible Stop On Passenger Rail Line

By Teresa Smith, 
Times-Union Staff Writer

Warsaw has been identified as a possible stop on a proposed high-speed passenger rail centered in Chicago.
Assistant city planner Kristy Mehlberg presented an outline of the proposal during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is studying a rail network that would significantly reduce travel time to the Windy City.  Many companies headquartered in Chicago have divisions in Warsaw, Fort Wayne, Cleveland and Toledo.  A public hearing is set for Aug. 2 in the Allen County Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m. 

The Indiana network is proposed to run from Chicago and connect through Indianapolis to Cincinnati and Louisville using former Amtrak rails.  It also would run along northern Indiana to Toledo and Cleveland.  Travel time from Fort Wayne to Chicago would take about two hours.

  • Bryan OH Report Available:  The full NTSB report on the January 1999 Bryan, OH accident is now available online.  It's about 63 pages.  You can download it from this page.  This is a PDF file and is about 700KB.
  • INER Mentioned In Rail Mag:  In the new Fall 2001 Classic Trains Magazine there is a letter to the editor in the "Fast Mail" section written by the Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers for the Indiana Northeastern.  Just above the letter is a photo of PGRV #47 pulling a westbound past Ashley.  He mentions that the ex-D&TSL #47 will most likely be retired soon.
  • new Train GIF added to main page.


July 14, 2001
  • There were articles yesterday in both the Journal Gazette and the News Sentinel about the nuclear waste train that is supposed to pass through town sometime in the near future.  They talked mostly about the possibility of civil unrest.  No word on when the train is supposed to pass through.
  • The Art Train was in Piqua Yard Thursday night and left westbound on the CSX Fort Wayne Line about 6:30am yesterday as an X900.  The train went to Valparaiso and is supposed to be on display there for a few days.


July 12, 2001
  • WC power:  Wisconsin Central SD45s 6615 and 6618 were sitting in the pit at East Wayne Yard this evening.
  • Radio troubles:  For the past week CSX has had some problems with the NS Pittsburgh West base antenna at Franke Rd.  Eastbound trains have been getting their Form Ds for the Fort Wayne Line off radio.
  • A Shortened 20T?  This train continues to operate Tue-Sun. on the Fort Wayne Line and lately has been frequently running with one engine

A single SD60M #6765 pulls NS 20T through Monroeville on Tuesday, July 10th 
about 5:15pm.  Note that the classification lights are on.  This unit has been back and
forth on 21A/20T a few times the past few days.


June 30, 2001
  • NS 4610 (SOU) came through on #197 today.  Left town around noon.  It was the second unit and was facing forward.  I was actually able to catch him at Winters Rd.
  • Wabash Central #3:  According to a post on, Wabash Central #3 (the ex-BN GP20) was moved on Thursday (6/28) to Woodburn using the 5509 (rebuilt GP38-2).  Anybody catch this?  What a photo that would have made.  Thanks to "halfmoonharold" on for the info on this and for the 4610 info above!
  • NS 20T/21A contrast:  The last couple of days 20T has had only one engine, while on Thursday 21A had a massive 6 engines.
  • NS Holiday Operating Schedule:  The 4th of July week will mean an abridged schedule for NS.  This is the intermodal schedule from the NS website (Adobe/PDF format).  Some of the trains that affect Fort Wayne are 217, 218, 20A, and 20T.


June 27, 2001


June 24, 2001
  • Bryan OH Derailment/Detours:  There was a derailment on the NS Chicago Line in Bryan yesterday evening.  I'm not sure exactly what happened.  There were a few trains that detoured through Fort Wayne including westbound container trains 25K and 21G, which passed through in the early morning today.  There may have been others.  Here's the discussion thread about it on

  • Molten Sulfur Returns?  I caught 61N [Chicago-Occidental FL] today near Hugo about 10:30am on the New Castle District.  He had a nice Union Pacific consist:  UP 6458, UP 6670, UP 9417.


June 23, 2001
  • CSX Q356/Q357 Discontinued East of Fort Wayne? According to the Bullsheet and the Prodigy CSX Train Symbols websites, Q356 and Q357 now only run between Chicago and Fort Wayne on the Fort Wayne Line (ex-PRR).  Can anyone confirm this?  This now evens out the number of trains on the line to 4 on both sides of Fort Wayne.
    Sand and west:
    Q357  [Fort Wayne-Chicago]
    Q356  [Chicago-Fort Wayne]
    C722  [Fort Wayne-Warsaw-Fort Wayne]
    C728  [Warsaw-Valpo-Warsaw]

    Mike and east:
    NS 21A [Elizabethport NJ-St.Louis]
    NS 20T [N. Kansas City-Harrisburg]
    C726   [Fort Wayne-Lima-Fort Wayne]
    C721   [Fort Wayne-Decatur-Fort Wayne]

  • CSX High/Wide:  This morning I heard a CSX W041 reporting by Adams eastbound on the Fort Wayne Line.  Anyone fortunate enough to see what it was?
  • NS Work Train 934:  A work train ran northbound on the New Castle District this afternoon.  It had several camp cars on the end. No idea where it was headed.


June 22, 2001
  • On the Western Ohio Rails group, Mike said that the Indiana Northeastern recently got a new locomotive. It is a blue and white GP30 lettered LTEX 2185 and was last seen at South Milford.
  • Phil passed along a link to his extremely rare 1911 Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley  postard that he is auctioning off on Ebay.  It closes in less than 3 days.


June 20, 2001
  • This past Monday (June 18) NS 60R ran through via the Chicago and New Castle Districts.  This is the first molten sulfur train that I've seen on the New Castle District in several months.

  • NS 60R races through Ossian, Indiana on the New Castle District led by a
    Union Pacific AC4400CW #6884.  This is a unit molten sulfur train
    enroute to the Honeywell plant in Hopewell, Virginia.
  • Replaced logo on main page.


June 16, 2001
Message Board Note:  Don't forget to scroll down on the message board and check for new replies to old threads.  If you have cookies enabled on your browser, you should see a little "new" image next to messages that haven't yet been viewed.  Also, when posting a message you can always check the "receive replies by e-mail" box to keep an eye on follow-up messages.
  • This morning just by luck as I was crossing the Huntington District on Ardmore Ave, I caught a nicely matched set of back-to-back Union Pacific AC4400CW's pulling 34N - and with good lighting to boot.  This marks the first time I've seen UP power on either 34N or its counterpart 35N.  Seems like a lot of trains through town here lately have solid UP power on them.  Also noteworthy - a C39-8 #8687 was in the lead of 197 today.  Hard to believe these units are nearing the 15 year mark.


June 15, 2001
  • Another Sperry Car sighting today!  This time in Van Wert on the CSX Fort Wayne Line.  While waiting for NS 21A at Van Wert, I heard the SRS car getting a Form D over the radio.  He was running westbound from Lima to Fort Wayne and passed Estry about 11:50am EDT.  21A came through Van Wert in the afternoon today right before a good sized thunderstorm hit. 21A didn't leave Fort Wayne until about 8pm though and actually passed eastbound 20T at Mike - something that doesn't happen too often.

Sperry Rail Services #186 is seen here checking out the Estry crossing
diamond for defects in Van Wert, OH.  He passed through shortly before
noon, enroute to Fort Wayne.


June 14, 2001
  • There was a story in the Journal Gazette today about the restoration of NKP 765
1944 locomotive to be restored 
By Carey Checca
The Journal Gazette

The Allen County commissioners approved an agreement Wednesday among federal, state and local officials to restore a locomotive owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.  Although the federal government issued $360,000 for the project two years ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation had no way to get the money to the non-profit historical society, said Mike Fitch, director of the Allen County Highway Department.

The historical society, which has a shop and museum on Edgerton Road east of New Haven, is responsible for raising about $90,000 for the project, Fitch said.  When federal dollars are involved in road or bridge projects, state transportation officials reimburse local highway departments after the work is finished and claims submitted, Fitch said.

This time, the county highway department will handle claims and bids for the restoration of Nickel Plate 765, mainly funded by federal Transportation Enhancement Activity money, Fitch said. That money typically pays for the restoration of historic transportation sites such as train depots and rail projects.  The 765 qualifies because it is on the national historic register.

The locomotive was built in 1944. It hauled meat and other perishables from Chicago through Fort Wayne to Bellevue, Ohio, on the Nickel Plate Railroad.  The Railroad Historical Society acquired the engine and began restoring it in 1974.  After five years of repair and reconstruction, the engine chugged more than 60,000 miles across the eastern United States from 1979 until 1994.

  • On Tuesday, the NTSB issued letters to several rail and transportation organizations regarding railroad operations during reduced visibility.  This is based on the NTSB's findings on the Bryan, OH crash which happened on the Conrail Chicago Line on January 1999.  This is the letter sent to the American Association of Railroads and this one was sent to Class I's and reads slightly different.  Both of these are Acrobat Reader (.PDF) formats.  These letters refer to the full report, which is not yet available on the NTSB website.
  • The Sperry Rail car came up on the New Castle District from Cincinnati this morning.  They turned it around to go back south using Junction and Mike interlockings.

Sperry Rail Car 136 was on the New Castle District today.  On this very hot 
day, he is about to cross the Huntington District at Hugo and head north
to the CSX Fort Wayne Line at Junction.


June 11, 2001
  • The rail grinder was in Fort Wayne this morning.  I heard him over the radio working on the New Castle District between Hugo and Junction.
  • There was a blurb in the Journal Gazette this morning about a grade crossing accident at CR 250N near Bluffton last night.  Don't know anything about it other than what little info was in the paper.


June 5, 2001
  • SD70M #2585 was in town this evening leading NS 260 (roadrailer).  Unfortunately, too crummy outside for any pictures.


May 29, 2001
  • CSX Track Inspection Car:  One of the orange CSX track inspection cars came into Piqua Yard this evening about 8:30pm from the west on the Fort Wayne Line.  It is car #GRMS-2 and was parked in front of the yard tower for the night.  It came in as CSX W002.  Keep an eye on the Fort Wayne Line and Decatur Secondary for this car tomorrow.
  • Conrail C39!  I actually saw one of the 13 Norfolk Southern ex-Conrail C39-8s on the front of 196 this morning.  NS 8212 was still in Conrail paint and looked pretty sharp on the point.
  • updated Links page; rearranged sections, added/updated links


May 26, 2001
  • SD70M #2588 was on NS 267 yesterday  morning.  Last week I heard it on 261 but it was late at night.  Keep an eye on the roadrailers for its return trip east.

NS 267 had SD70M #2588 in the lead yesterday morning.
This is at County Road 1100N in Roanoke, Indiana on the Huntington District.
  • Union Belt usage:  The past few weeks I've seen some roadrailers traveling on the eastern end of the Union Belt from Drake to New Haven Ave.  They hadn't been using this section in quite a while.
  • NS 20T has been running in the late afternoon on the Fort Wayne Line this week, usually between 3-6pm.  Yesterday I caught him in Van Wert.  As a side note this train had the #9694 leading.  So far, this is the highest numbered C40-9W that I've seen.  They are supposed to go up to 9711.


May 23, 2001
  • There was some BNSF power sitting at East Wayne Yard today;  numbers 938 (C40-8W) and 554 (B40-8W).  Both are still in Sante Fe warbonnet colors.  NS #5509 was still at the yard also.
  • NS ran a 699 this evening westbound on the New Castle District to the Chicago District.  It was a 148 car empty grain train enroute to Iowa pulled by a long-hood forward GP38-2 and an SD60.


May 18, 2001
  • NS 175 ran through on the New Castle District last night about 8pm.  Normally this train runs down the Marion Branch and originates in Elkhart.  It kinda looked like the old 143 with all of the clay slurry and Englehard tank cars.
  • NS 4610:  Bob D. reported on the message board that the Southern-painted GP59 #4610 was at East Wayne Yard today as well as #5509, one of the rebuilt GP38-2s.  Thanks for that report!  The 4610 headed out as the trailing unit on NS 465 this evening down the New Castle District.  The 5509 has been assigned to some of the locals this past week.
  • It seems that NS 277 is now operating west of the Fostoria Auto Mixing Center.   Trains 283 and 291 usually operated between Fostoria and the Voltz Mixing Center in Missouri but I haven't heard these trains in awhile.  Routing for 277 through Fort Wayne is Fostoria District to NE, then Huntington District westbound.
  • removed SDI page; this info is now in the St. Joe page.


May 16, 2001
  • Norfolk Southern Forms TransWorks:  On Monday NS released a statement about a new Fort Wayne based company called TransWorks associated with Triple Crown.  Click here for the official press release.
  • Local track work:  I noticed NS is doing some kind of major repair on the New Castle District between Sandpoint Rd. and Lower Huntington Road.  For the past week or so they've had a large crane occupying the main in this area.  Anyone know what they're doing?
  • added Piqua Yard schematics to the Piqua Yard page.


May 14, 2001
  • The CSX OCS (Office Car Special) will be operating this week up on the Garrett Sub.  The train is supposed to arrive in Garrett around noon on Thursday, May 17 and be pulled by the 2 CSX F40PHs.  Here is the tentative operating schedule for that day in this area.  Special thanks to Erik, K8DTI for posting this on the Western Ohio Rails list!
Special Train P978-17 - Day Two
Thursday - May 17th
AR -  Deshler - Old Depot Main St.  1020  load passengers 
DP -  Deshler 1025
AR -  Holgate - Railway Ave. crossing  1050  load passengers
DP -  Holgate 1055
AR -  Defiance - Depot Clinton St.  1115  load passengers
DP -  Defiance 1120
AR -  Garrett - Randolph St.  1200  run around wye
DP -  Garrett 1300
AR -  Defiance - Depot Clinton St.  1350  detrain passengers 
DP -  Defiance  1355

For the complete schedule and consist view this link.

  • On the message board Rich reported seeing a pair of Wisconsin Central SD45s in the diesel pit at East Wayne Yard last night.  Maybe they came in on 306?


May 11, 2001
  • Nuclear Waste Train:  A front page article in this morning's Journal Gazette describes the nuclear waste train that is scheduled to pass through Fort Wayne this summer and explains how local emergency departments are preparing for its passage.  Based on the map in the paper and from what I've read about it, the train will come into town on the Fostoria District and then go west on the Huntington District.  No exact date has been set.
Safety forces prepare for nuclear waste train
Load to pass through city, northeast Indiana
By Sara Eaton
The Journal Gazette

About 30 local emergency services officials will undergo training today at a Fort Wayne fire station in preparation for a nuclear waste shipment that will pass through Fort Wayne by train this summer.  About 60 others were trained Wednesday and Thursday, said Ed LaRocque, Allen County Emergency Services director, during a four-hour, one-time basics course taught by a state official.

West Valley Nuclear Services, the organization that operates the West Valley Demonstration Project in New York, plans to transport spent nuclear fuel to Idaho this summer where it will be stored, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  The shipment will start in western New York at the West Valley Demonstration Project site. It will travel west by train, passing through Fort Wayne on Norfolk Southern tracks that run fairly close to downtown, then to eastern Idaho where it will be stored at the Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory site, LaRocque said.  Two casks, or storage containers, each weigh more than 150,000 pounds without the waste. About 125 uranium-filled rods will fill the casks.

An exact date is not set for the shipment to begin, but the earlier the shipment begins its trek across the country the better, said John Chamberlain, community relations director for the West Valley Nuclear Services. The casks are loaded, sealed and ready for shipment in New York, but it's not clear when the 4 day trip will begin because negotiations over contracts are still taking place, he said.  "We were hoping for a June shipment," Chamberlain said. "We have until September to ship it, though."
If contracts are not completed within the next few weeks, it could push the shipment back, he said.

The training provided in Allen County this week is giving "first responders" basic knowledge on radioactive material and such information as keeping a safe distance, LaRocque said.  Although the U.S. Department of Energy would be responsible for a cleanup should a spill occur, it is important for local emergency services workers to know how to contain an area and keeponlookers at a safe distance until the cleanup crew arrives, LaRocque said.

 Along with reviewing the basics of radioactive material, emergency workers learned how to use monitors and detection devices during the class, taught by Joseph A. Bell, director of Radiation Programs at the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency.  During a class Thursday, Bell told officials that traveling by railway is the safest way for nuclear waste to travel because of its sheer weight.  A video was shown to demonstrate the strength of the casks, LaRocque said.  Tests such as dropping the casks in 50 feet of water or 30 feet on the side of a hill showed that neither cask broke open, he said.
While officials expect an uneventful trip across the country, preparation is still necessary as a safety precaution, he said.

The train will consist of seven rail cars - two with casks, the lead car, a personnel car and three buffer cars to separate each car, Bell said.  A special satellite tracking system will allow close monitoring of the train's track across the country, alerting officials of the rail conditions almost to real time, Bell said.  A study was completed several years ago to ensure the train would take the safest route to the site in Idaho, he said.

Although this is a one-time shipment, future shipments would not be a surprise as there are nuclear power plants that have been working for years and eventually will need to purge themselves of waste, LaRocque said.  Indiana is a prime state for railway shipments because of location and because of track replacements completed in the past few years on many throughout the state, he said.

This is not the first time nuclear waste has traveled through Indiana. Bell said shipments of very low radioactive material travel through southern Indiana on occasion.  "It might pass through in the night," Bell said.  The train this summer is expected to pass through Indiana in three or four hours  and will not stop unless necessary, LaRocque said.

Norfolk Southern employees were invited, along with police, fire and other emergency management officials, to the classes this week. Officials were from Woodburn, Grabill, St. Joseph Township, Southwest Allen County, Aboite Township, Fort Wayne, Allen County and local state agencies, such as the Indiana State Police who serve Allen County.  Bell taught similar classes in Wabash County May 4 and plans to teach another in Lafayette May 19.

For more information about the shipment residents can call West Valley NuclearServices at (716) 942-4610 and ask for Chamberlain or Sonja Allen.

  • updated Fort Wayne Rail Operations page; NS Train Schedules.  Anyone know if 21T is still running separately?
  • updated Links page; several sections.
  • updated Media page: added Conrail cab ride video, alphabetized this section, too.
  • updated Railroad Safety page; added MPEG video to "Playing Chicken," added Elkhart photo, removed silent AVI movies.


May 8, 2001
  • Circus Train Through Fort Wayne:  Yesterday the Ringling Brothers Circus train passed through westbound on the Huntington District about 5:45pm as an NS 047.  The train was enroute from Columbus, OH to Springfield, IL and came off the Fostoria District at NE.
  • NS 5509:  One of the rebuilt GP38-2s was sitting at the west end of East Wayne Yard today; nice and shiny looking.  It might be pulling local duty this week.


May 2, 2001
  • Yesterday's 196 had a couple of DODX flat cars behind the engine carrying what looked to me like partially built tanks.  An NS special agent was following along in a vehicle.
  • The Federal Railroad Administration test vehicle came up from the south on the New Castle District yesterday around noon.  It ran north to Junction, then west to Sand and Hill, and east to Runnion.  No idea where it went after that.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it. :-(
  • On Saturday and Sunday (4/28, 4/29) NS 20T ran in the early morning.  20T is the mail train that runs on the Fort Wayne Line from Mike eastward.  Tonight he ran on the regular schedule - past Mike at 10:30pm.
  • updated the Kendallville page to reflect the new shortline name.
  • updated above name on the Links page; added link to Elkhart & Western, which is also now separate from the Michigan Southern.
  • new poll on main page; old one archived.


April 25, 2001
  • Whitley County SDI Plant Approved: Today the Environmental Protection Agency approved the construction of the new SDI (Steel Dynamics) rail mill just west of County Line Road along US 30 in Whitley County, Indiana. This plant will have rail access via CSX's Fort Wayne Line. This is the press release from SDI's website.


April 23, 2001
  • Today about 1:40pm an Allen County Sheriff officer ran his squad car through the crossing lights and struck the east side of NS train M96 at the Baer Field Thruway crossing on the New Castle District.  I believe he hit one of the engines.  No injuries to either officer or train crew.  I actually heard this one happen over the radio.  Train was delayed for a few hours.  Story from Channel 15 WANE-TV.
  • There is still some wreckage from the March 28 derailment between South Whitley and Sidney on the Chicago District.  Until yesterday I hadn't been out that way since it happened.  At CR 600E there are a couple of wrecked truck trailers and quite a bit of metal debris is scattered for 200 yards or so to the east.

A couple of wrecked orange Schneider trailers leftover from last
month's derailment east of Sidney, IN.  This could have been 217
or 218's cargo.


April 21, 2001
  • High Level Nuclear Waste Train To Pass Through Fort Wayne:  In the fashion of the TV movie, "Atomic Train," a load of 125 spent nuclear fuel rods is scheduled to pass through Fort Wayne on the NS Fostoria/Chicago Districts this Summer.  The train will run from West Valley, NY enroute to Idaho Falls, Idaho and will use the CSX to Fostoria.  At Fostoria it will switch to the NS and run to Fort Wayne.  Here is an article about it from yesterday's Toledo Blade.  Also another article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on March 28.  According to the articles, it is supposed to run in June or July.  Be sure to wear your lead suit when photographing this one!
  • Kendallville Terminal Railway:  I noticed on their website, the Pioneer Railcorp operation in Kendallville on the GR&I trackage is no longer operated by the Michigan Southern (MSO).  It is now called the Kendallville Terminal Railway Co. (KTR) No idea when this changed occurred.  Anyone know? Here's their website.  Notice the map still shows the line going to Fort Wayne.
  • NS 60T Returns:  Potash train NS 60T ran through yesterday afternoon on the Chicago/New Castle Districts. I haven't seen this one in a few months as it used to be a weekly train.  It had some interesting power, as well:  CP 5620, CP 5581, CP 5569, and CP 6041 [SOO].  The hoppers were all CP Rail.  Judging by the power and cars, I'd say this is no longer a CN train.  This power was swapped with train M96 at Montpelier, IN and returned back to Fort Wayne.  Don't know where it went after that.
  • CSX ran a G935 (Decatur, IN - Columbus, OH) grain train early this evening on the Fort Wayne Line.


April 20, 2001
  • Norfolk Southern Derailment In Kendallville:  I have been in Virginia and North Carolina all week so I'm probably the last person who knows any details about this mishap.  I just got back this morning on Amtrak #29.  Yesterday afternoon just east of Harpers Ferry we passed #30, running 5 hours late - whoa!  As we pulled into Waterloo this morning I heard an eastbound work train #920 calling the signals up ahead at CP 379 and didn't think anything of it.  Aah - now I know what happened.  From what I've gathered on, Western Ohio Rails, and various media sources - On Wednesday April 18, 2001 about 4:45am NS 69T, a westbound coil steel train derailed just east of Kendallville, spilling cars onto the adjacent track.  Shortly afterwards NS 24Z, an eastbound container train, collided with the derailed cars, tossing the lead unit off the tracks and onto its side.  The 2 crew members of 24Z suffered minor injuries and were taken to nearby Parkview Noble Hospital.  The Chicago Line was shut down for about 24 hours. Amtrak trains were detoured over the CSX Garrett/Willard Sub and then up the Toledo Sub at Deshler.  Buses made the passenger connections.  I'm glad I didn't get caught up in that mess.  Detouring NS trains ran through here!  A couple of them went through Kalamazoo and Detroit.  "NKP" reported on my message board that the following were rerouted through Fort Wayne:  23N, 13Q, 21G, 21Q, 21Z, 205, 11M, 21M, 20E.  Cool.  I wish I had caught these!  No cause on the derailment so far.
Here are some links to stories from various news sources around the area.  The links may not work for long.
  1. Channel 21 WPTA
  2. Channel 15 WANE
  3. Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (from archives)
  4. Kendallville News Sun/Evening Star (thanks to Uncle E for this one!)
  5. South Bend Tribune
  6. Elkhart Truth
  7. The Toledo Blade
  • archived changes/news Feb 21 and earlier.


April 13, 2001
  • NS X65 pulled the string of tanks mentioned below south at dusk this evening.  I got a shot of him near Ossian on the New Castle District
It was a normal looking X65, other than the 14 flat cars of tanks behind the engines.
  • NS 60Q, a loaded molten sulfur train, ran this evening on the Chicago/Fostoria District.  Train was routed through town on the Fort Wayne Line between Sand and Mike, then on the Huntington District to NE.


April 12, 2001
  • Eric in Waterloo mentioned that County Road 42 along the north side of the SDI yard in De Kalb County is now permanently closed off and that you can no longer drive on it.  Hope you got your shots of the yard!  He also said there are now overhead flashers on the Indiana Northeastern at the crossing just north of the Pleasant Lake depot.  This is on the ex-NYC trackage that they use north of Steubenville.
  • There is a long string of M1 Abrams tanks on flat cars sitting in the Wabash yard in New Haven.  They came in on 17K yesterday.  Pretty neat lookin'.  Trace cars show Charleston, SC so keep an eye out for them on the New Castle District.
  • Spotted a nice lashup on 16K today going through New Haven:  UP 4766, UP 9677 [Cotton Belt], NS 6515, NS 3631 [CR], CN 6109/6251 [both IC].  First time I've ever seen a UP SD45 on the front of a train.  Brian, I hope you caught that one right after you left!  :-)


April 10, 2001
  • Last Friday at work I saw some BNSF (green/orange) power pulling a train south on the New Castle District.  Looked like two SD's running elephant style.  Maybe it was 177 or 465.  Way too foggy to see anything other than a basic outline.
  • Empty coal train NS 883 ran on the New Castle District on Friday.  This is the first time I've seen it run this way in a few months.  They were going to run it through Bellevue, but at Mike interlocking they changed their minds for some reason and then backed up to Junction interlocking to head south.
  • NS is working on several track projects around Fort Wayne.  Most of what I have seen is routine track maintenance such as retamping ballast and replacing ties.
  • Last night area thunderstorms caused some area NS lines to be hi-railed.
  • There were some problems with the message board the past few days but it seems to be working now.
  • updated Fort Wayne Rail Operations page; NS train symbol listing.  Anyone know anything about 62G?
  • added NS 20T at Monroeville photo to Photo Gallery page.


April 4, 2001
  • Yesterday the NTSB released an abstract report of the fatal Conrail collision in Bryan, OH that happened on the Chicago Line on January 17, 1999.  This is not a final report and any info in it can still change until the final booklet version is released. You can read the abstract here.


April 3, 2001
  • A man was killed on the CSX Fort Wayne Line on Saturday night (3/31) in Dixon.  Here is an article about it from yesterday's Toledo Blade.  The article says NS, but the tracks are CSX.  Dixon is a very small town right on the Indiana-Ohio state line and there really isn't anything there other than an old grain elevator.  I'm not sure if C726 or Q357 was the train involved.

Van Wert man dies when he is hit by train

DIXON, Ohio -- The man who was killed Saturday night when he was struck by a CSX freight train on the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in this village at the Ohio-Indiana state line has been identified as a 33-year-old Van Wert man.

Gilbert Mendoza and two other people were sitting on the tracks having a party when the westbound train, headed from Lima to Fort Wayne, Ind., approached about 8 p.m., according to the Van Wert County sheriff’s department.

Mr. Mendoza’s friends jumped off the tracks, but when he tried to get up, he slipped. As he tried again to get up, he was struck by the train, the sheriff's department said. Authorities reported finding alcohol at the scene. A toxicology report on Mr. Mendoza was pending.


April 2, 2001


March 31, 2001
  • Derailment:  There was a derailment on the Chicago District in South Whitley on Wednesday morning (3/28).  I don't know much about it other than that the main was shut down for several hours.  They were still fixing it yesterday.  There was a brief mention of it on the NS website.
  • Return of NS 177?  This train disappeared for a few months but I've seen it a couple of times the past few weeks on the Chicago/New Castle Districts.  Let's hope it sticks around.
  • NS Chicago Line gains traffic:  The past few months I've noticed the disappearance of some of the molten sulfur trains that normally ran through Fort Wayne.  The Honeywell (Allied Signal) one to and from Hopewell, VA (60R/61R) continues to run on the Chicago/Fostoria Districts, however I have not seen any of the others since mid-January.  I think they are now routing these trains up on the Chicago Line and using the connecting track at Oak Harbor, OH to reach Bellevue and the Sandusky District.  A 60Q used that routing earlier this week.


March 25, 2001
  • NS ran an extra 21A mail train westbound last night on the Fort Wayne Line (Crestline to Mike).  This created some problems for 20T who had to wait several hours at Piqua Yard on track 2 for the westbound I1A to pass.
  • updated Amtrak page; several sections edited.  Ideas are still the same.
  • updated Links page; various sections.
  • updated Butler page; various sections; it was 3 years ago today that the collision occurred here.


March 16, 2001
  • Eastbound loaded coal train NS 668 (Chicago-Buffalo NY) ran through last night about 11pm on the Chicago District.  This train normally runs to the north on the Chicago Line.
  • NS 20J ran on the New Castle District about 5pm yesterday afternoon.  Power was a single C40-9W.  This short stack train is becoming a regular.  It could possibly be a replacement for the old 313.
  • Most, if not all of the empty coal trains 883, 885, and 887 have been running east to Bellevue the past few weeks instead of via the New Castle District.  Not sure why they are going this way.
  • CSX ran a couple of grain trains yesterday on the Fort Wayne Line.  I heard a G129 and a G309.


March 11, 2001


March 5, 2001
  • NS 2901 (ex-Conrail GP38) was on the front of X65/197 yesterday afternoon.  This unit is over 30 years old and still in mainline service!
  • I made a trip out to Lima today to catch the Ringling Bros circus train, which was enroute from Cincinnati to Baltimore, Maryland.  Here is my trip report posted on the Western Ohio Rails group.  The last time Fort Wayne was graced by this train's presence was on Conrail's last day.
  • I have replaced the short-lived update list with a message board, provided by Bravenet.  Check it out.  Feel free to post any area sightings or questions you may have on here.  There is a link to it on the main page under Changes/News in the Other section.
  • Added Claypool, IN audio to Audio Files page.
  • archived changes Dec. 26, 2000 and earlier.


March 1, 2001
  • The C&O 2716 steamer was moved south on the New Castle District this past Saturday morning by an NS 052 special.  It was pulled by an NS GP38 and the unpowered steam locomotive was sandwiched between 2 box cars.  Unfortunately, after working a swing shift the night before I was unable to catch him coming through.  Oh well, it was kind of rainy that morning anyway.  Eric Shock got some good photos of the train at Walnut St. in Muncie.  Check them out at his Railroads of Muncie website.
  • updated Woodburn Branch page; added Operations section.
  • updated Links page.
  • The guestbook has been moved to Bravenet.  There are some additional features with it.  You can now leave a private message if you so desire.
  • New poll added to main page; results from previous one are on the Polls page.


February 21, 2001
  • NS 20T in daylight:  This train has traditionally been nocturnal since its rerouting last Fall, but the past few days has been running through Fort Wayne much earlier in daylight hours.  This provides some rare photo opportunities on the Fort Wayne Line east of Fort Wayne.  Today I caught eastbound 20T passing through Monroeville at 4:00pm.  Also NS 21A has been running a little earlier in the morning, as well.
  • C&O 2716 is sitting in East Wayne Yard.  This engine might be on its way back to the Kentucky Railway Museum.  Also there is an Indiana & Ohio high-hood GP30 #84 in the diesel pit area.  Driving by the latter engine today, it looks like it is leaking something badly near its fuel tank.  Thanks to Bob D. for the report on this.
  • The last two Sundays have been really good for traffic on the New Castle District.  217 has been running in the afternoons around 3pm on Sundays.  The catch of the day this past Sunday (2/18) was X65 with a high-hood (ex-SOU) B30-7 #3503 in the lead.
  • Dan M. noticed that the remnant ex-NYC track that runs north from Runnion to OmniSource, aka "OmniSource Track," has a bad order-type flag on it near the St. Mary's Ave. crossing.  This track has not been used in quite some time and may not be around much longer.


February 17, 2001
  • NS ran a 21G on Tuesday, a COFC/auto rack train.  I hadn't seen one in a long time.  Also, an unusual 20J was run early this morning via the Chicago & New Castle Districts.  It was a short COFC train (25 cars) and headed south with a single SD60I, #6727.  No idea where this one was headed.
  • At the Park Ave. crossing in Kendallville, NS is installing some new crossing gates.  It looks like they will be the overhead type.  Currently it has just flashers.  Also in Waterloo at the Center St. crossing it appears that they are doing the same thing, although this crossing already has gates.
  • CSX has changed the frequency used for calling the BD dispatcher from Garrett eastward.  It is now on AAR CH84, 161.370 MHz.  Formerly it was 160.290.  The dispatcher tones still sound the same.  The road channel remains the same.
Conrail Blue in Waterloo

It looked like old times in Waterloo on Tuesday morning (2/13) as NS B43 (Bryan-Elkhart local) headed west through town with a pair of unpainted ex-Conrail GP40-2s (3030/3014).

AudioAlthough the horn on 3030 has seen better days, the Leslie S3Ls are becoming less frequently heard on many area former Conrail Lines. [Real Audio, 98K, 50 sec.]


February 12, 2001
  • NS 218 has been running within minutes of the same time through Fort Wayne.  Last week's sightings - Tues: 8:50am, Wed: 8:40am, Thurs: 8:40am, Fri: 8:15am.  Wednesday and Thursday were within a few seconds!  NS seems to have found the perfect routing for both 217/218.
  • On Saturday NS 17K had an all IC consist - 5 engines:  IC 6057, 6030, 6200, 6253 (repainted to CN), and 6140.  It's been a while since I've seen IC power on 17K/16K.
  • NS is replacing the 166.8 signal 2 miles south of Kingsland, IN on the New Castle District.  The new signal is being placed right next to the old one and looks very similar.
  • The New Castle District has been sleepy these past few months.  Yesterday, however was not the case.  217, 174, 276, M97, 885 and 197 all ran within about a 2 1/2 hour span!
  • CSX operated a G930 (Columbus OH - Hamlet IN) grain train on the Fort Wayne Line this afternoon. C726 has been departing east in the late afternoon the past few days.


February 6, 2001
  • NS ran 60R early this evening, a molten sulfur train to Hopewell, VA.  Routing through town was Chicago District to Hill, Fort Wayne Line from Sand to Mike, and Huntington District to Fostoria District.  This train has run via the New Castle District on occasion.
  • added better recording of the Ossian detector (173.5) to Fort Wayne Hotbox Detectors page.
  • added several pictures to Erie Lackawanna Huntington, Wabash, and Fulton County pages.  Links are provided to the photos instead of embedding them.  Just look for this little camera icon. 


February 3, 2001
  • Early this morning I caught an odd train going south on the New Castle District;  a unit flatcar train transporting military tanks.  It had 8 cars or so.  Didn't catch the symbol - might have been a 900-series.  Too dark for any photos.
  • SD70M #2588 was on the front of I83 late this afternoon.  It was slightly dirty.  Also spotted a brand new UP SD70M on 14E this evening, #4541.
  • I noticed gates and overhead flashers are now installed at the Estella Ave. crossing on the Fostoria District in New Haven.  They must have gone up sometime late last month.
  • More NS C40-9Ws keep coming.  Bob D. reports seeing some new ones in primer at East Wayne Yd. this week:  Nos. 9598, 9603, and 9608.  Also, he spotted a loaded welded rail train going east on the Fostoria District.  Maybe going out to the Sandusky District?


February 1, 2001
  • New poll added to main page; results from previous one posted to Polls page.  Thanks for all of your input, as always.
  • archived changes Nov. 29 and earlier.


January 30, 2001
  • Willie in Van Wert said he has seen the CSX east local, C726, recently running with power at both ends.  This could be to ease switching operations in Delphos and Van Wert instead of using crew vans.


January 23, 2001
  • Norfolk Southern announced some restructuring in a press release today.  Note the "line rationalization program," as well as the workforce reduction.
  • I learned from a fellow Western Ohio Rails list member that NS 14R/15R are actually Fort Wayne - Elkhart trains and operate in a similar fashion to the old Conrail ELFW/FWEL.  The differences are that these trains operate via Porter, Indiana instead of Warsaw and the eastern terminus is East Wayne Yard instead of Piqua Yard.  Also the consists are completely different.  I've noticed NS 15R will pinch-hit for other trains sometimes.  On Sunday a train operated as 15R east as far as Junction where it then became an X65 and headed south on the New Castle District.  A similar 15R ran today east to Junction and then became M77 to go south on the New Castle District.  This is a pretty interesting usage of train symbols.
  • NS 16E (ex-Conrail BRPI) ran east through Fort Wayne on the Chicago District tonight.  Normally this train runs through Elkhart via the Chicago Line.
  • Eric in Waterloo said that crossing gates were finally installed at the Peneton St. crossing on the NS Chicago Line.  This is the crossing just west of the Amtrak platform and has been the site of numerous grade crossing accidents - some fatal.  Always good to see rail safety improvements.


January 18, 2001
  • NS ran a 61N molten sulphur train yesterday early in the morning.  Lately, every one of these trains seems to pass through here in hours of darkness.
  • NS X65 had a brand new C40-9W in the lead today, #9588, still in gray primer.
  • Around noon today I caught an odd train - NS Z0T, an extra 60T.  This one had Canadian Pacific and NAHX hoppers instead of the usual CN type.
Passing eastbound by the 173.5 hotbox detector in Ossian on the NS New Castle District is NS Z0T.  The wide cab plays monkey in the middle for a change in the power lashup on this cool cloudy January 18.


January 14, 2001
  • Well, if you live in the Fort Wayne area you'll notice it's been VERY foggy the past week and not good at all for train watching.  Nevertheless the foreign power still keeps coming.  This morning NS ran an X65 with UP and HLCX (red/white scheme) power.  Also, I saw an unusual power move on the New Castle District - this afternoon a lone CSX wide cab (couldn't make out the type) went north.  Perhaps CSX was relocating an engine to Piqua Yd. from Avon Yard. in Indianapolis
  • Some of the new Norfolk Southern SD70M's have been showing up on the intermodals (215, 216, etc.) recently.  Keep an eye out for them.  They look very similar to the repainted Conrail SD60 I/M's. One of the differences I've noticed is the SD70M's have 5-chime K5LA horns.  Also be on the lookout for new C40-9W's in primer paint.  I've seen a few of those this week.
  • A closer look at the Chicago District just west of Fort Wayne reveals the absence of NKP style signals.  Most of them are gone.  There still are plenty of them left in Fort Wayne and eastward.  Get your photos while you can.
  • I posted this a few weeks ago on TrainWeb Railforum, but this NS document shows the status of track projects as of September 30, 2000.  Some of the local ones include Hadley Jct. (double tracking) and the Butler Cutoff.  Both are indicated as "project being defined."


January 9, 2001
  • Added NS 60T pictures/audio to the Hugo page.  Be sure and check out the audio. You'd think this was recorded on Saluda Grade!
  • added EL video to Media page.
  • changed the larger link banner on the Links page.


January 4, 2001
  • CSX:  Yesterday afternoon near Junction I caught G309 going west with a nicely matched set of SD40-2s (8349/8324). This was not a unit grain train and was mixed freight.  Today Q357 was running late.  Caught him at Van Wert just before 5:00pm with (7664/8240). C726 was there also and cleared up for 357 on the Van Wert Industrial Track to the north.  That was nice seeing a meet in Van Wert.
Early this evening, rounding the curve with the historic Van Wert County Courthouse in the background is CSX Q357 with 7664 in the lead.  In the right photo 357's last car clears the diamond while the local, C726, waits on the Van Wert Industrial Track to the north.

  • NS has been running a lot of coal trains through Ft. Wayne lately, and most likely systemwide due to the increased heating demands throughout the nation.  Some are running via the Chicago/Fostoria Districts and others (mostly the empties) via the Chicago/New Castle Districts.  Yesterday I heard 883, 884, and 885.  They also ran an S83 in the evening and an S85 today.  It's been a while since I've heard an S-series in this area.  Also, some Wisconsin Central SD45s were sitting in the roundhouse today at East Wayne Yd.
  • a few editorial changes to the Monroeville page to reflect CSX operation.


January 1, 2001
  • NS 60T:  A follow-up from 12/26/00 below. The CN power on 60T made it at least as far as Tennessee.  Posted on the NS Fans mailing list, Chris S. caught the train at Emory Gap, TN the next day.  Check out one of his photos.  Notice the snow is still on the front of the lead unit!  I was hoping for an "encore" from the next 60T but he came through last night with all NS power (6083/3204/1633).  Denied!
  • Bucyrus, OH Derailment:  On 12/30/00, a derailment on the NS Sandusky District at CP Colson in Bucyrus (CSX Fort Wayne Line crossing) caused a few reroutes that day here in Fort Wayne.  Here are a few:  NS 234 went via the New Castle District, NS 20T ran Huntington District/Chicago Line (via Butler) instead of through Crestline, Q356 was held at Piqua Yd. until early the next morning.
  • NS 177:  This Chicago-Chattanooga train has become a regular on the Chicago/New Castle Districts.  Keep your eye out for foreign power when this one comes through.  I caught a CSX C40-8 on the front on Saturday (12/30) and tonight he had 2 Wisconsin Central SD45's leading.
  • New Year's Day traffic:   NS ran somewhat a normal schedule in Fort Wayne today.  I didn't notice any locals but it seemed like most through-trains were running.  While everyone was gearing up for the Rose Bowl, CSX was running the longest train I have EVER seen on the Decatur Secondary.  CSX 6359/5958 pulled a 110 car train from Piqua Yd. down to Decatur this afternoon.  The first half was a grain train and the second half was C721.  The line has lots of snow drift-overs and made for some interesting photos.
Passing through Hoagland, Indiana CSX 6359 and 5958 pull a 110 car train down to Decatur, Indiana on the ex-GR&I trackage (Decatur Secondary) this afternoon.  This definitely was the first train run on this line in 2001!

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