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Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:48 am
by Notch 8
The westward extension toward Chicago is progressing...westward. In fact, the gang is almost to 550E, which is about two and a half miles to the west of South Milford.. The extension is 7000' and will be used to hold cars for loading and is on the former ROW

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:09 pm
by D.L.
:D Glad to see the 4th district coming back.

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:38 am
by Bob Durnell
Are they not the ones that took up the track from Wolcottville to South Milford in the first place?

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:34 pm
by zuluwiz
Am I understanding this right? They are putting down new track to store cars on? How much did it cost to do this?

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:08 am
by Notch 8
Bob Durnell wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:38 am
Are they not the ones that took up the track from Wolcottville to South Milford in the first place?
I bet that you're correct they lifted/severed way too much track sidings at Helmer and Hamilton which are now both in service.
zuluwiz wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:34 pm
Am I understanding this right? They are putting down new track to store cars on? How much did it cost to do this?
Reality is that a little more track is needed to store hot grain trains in the fall. And being able to sit on a train or two gives SMG an advantage in the competitive grain train game. But stopping short of the next crossing west (County Road 550E)
Last year they had to sit on 1 or 2 grain trains because there was no place go the train to go after being loaded - So this gives them some flexibility to handle unit trains, Yes storage but not long term storage they have also take the track to Class 1 from South Milford to to Pergo Jct.
Several years ago Michigan had a bulk of the traffic and now the Indiana portion of the trackage has had a good uptick in traffic..

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:10 pm
by Bob Durnell
I'm off work next week, was thinking about MAYBE trying to catch some INER action. Anybody have any good information for catching train movements?

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:21 am
by Notch 8
Bob Durnell wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:10 pm
I'm off work next week, was thinking about MAYBE trying to catch some INER action. Anybody have any good information for catching train movements?
Dial (517) 439-4677 ask for Julie and she'll let you know where the trains are headed for the day.. Monday-Friday there is something usually somewhere. earlier this week they had 3 trains running at the same time. Good Luck !

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:35 pm
by Bob Durnell
Thanks for the heads up, I'll try that. I'm always hesitant to call somebody unless I know they really don't mind. I try REAL HARD not to be "one of those" railfans that is a pain in the a$$ for everybody. Last fall, I DID e-mail Southshore Freight about the service to Kingsbury, got a prompt reply, and got the shots I wanted. I was also thinking about going west and chasing the Kankakee Beaverville and Southern during the grain harvest. The last I heard, they would still give out info.

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:10 pm
by matt
I've called her several times and she's always been friendly.

Re: Indiana Northeastern's Western Extension towards Chicago

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:04 am
by Bob Durnell
I spent the entire day on Friday chasing INER trains from dawn to 4PM. I got to see a train of grain and tank cars go from Ashley to South Milford, and then followed a train from Ashley all the way to Coldwater, with switching at Fremont and Reading, and a change of power at Hillsdale. Julie gave me the heads up on that one, the South Milford train was a pleasant surprise I stumbled into. What a really first class operation. Nice equipment, well maintained track, and listening on the scanner, their people were very professional and seemed to handle all their work in a prompt efficient manner. When they were dropping empties at Reading, they even took the extra time to re-block their train for Coldwater. I was super impressed with their operation all the way around. I will also mention that I really enjoyed the scenic locations on the former FW&J portion of the line, but you REALLY have to hustle to stay ahead of the train even at their 20-25 MPH speeds. From Hillsdale to Coldwater the slower speeds and the parallel US 12 made things somewhat easier. I will post some photos when I get a chance.