CSX C721 approaches Emenhiser Rd. near Williams, IN
The Decatur Line is operated by RailAmerica and runs between Adams (just
east of Adams Center Rd.) and Decatur, Indiana. This is part of the
Chicago, Fort Wayne, & Eastern Railroad or CFE. This track was
once part of the Grand Rapids and Indiana (GR&I) to Cincinnati.
CSX operated it prior to RailAmerica and Conrail prior to CSX. The
line passes through Hoagland and Williams before crossing the St. Marys
River into Decatur. This line survives due to the Central
Soya plant located in northern Decatur. The line is completely
unsignaled and run dark.
It takes the better part of 1 1/2 hours to get to Decatur due to the 10
mph speed limit on the line. It's extremely easy to chase this train
from Adams to Decatur. You could almost chase it on foot, but for sure
on a bicycle! Once it arrives, the train spends most of its time
switching cars in and out of the Central Soya plant which is on the north
side of Decatur and there is a fairly large yard there for that purpose.
Occasionally the local will run further south to use a segment of the old
Erie Lackawanna mainline which they operate on westbound to switch Dolco
Packaging who uses plastic pellets.
wobbly line is fairly straight most of the way to Decatur but it has a
few small grades along the way.
HARR is where the controlled portion of the line ends to the south.
It is located just a few hundred feet north of Piqua Rd. in Decatur.
South of this point it is known as the Decatur Industrial Track.
Currently Norfolk Southern dispatchers control the line from HARR northward.
south, in the distance is the Central Soya plant in Decatur. Just
in front of it is the St. Mary's River bridge.
On November 30, 2000 CSX C721 runs south through Hoagland, Indiana
with a 43-car train led by CSX 2614.
Decatur local, formerly called WDFW1 in the Conrail era, is seen here crossing
Flatrock Rd. (Allen Co.) southbound on October 7, 1997.
train is predominantly composed of Central Soya hoppers and tank cars but
on occasion there will be a box car.
close up of the rail on the Decatur Line. It's easy to see why it's
10 mph running.
Decatur local spends a great deal of time switching cars in and out of
the Central Soya plant. Usually it takes several hours. Frequently
they "kick" cars in the yard to save time which is what he is doing here.
July 24, 1997.
The Decatur local backs up across Dayton Ave. southbound on July 24,
Decatur local is returning north on the GR&I seen here crossing Piqua
Rd., along US 27/33. Just north of this crossing is HARR,
where the controlled portion begins northward to Adams. July 24,
is seen here passing south through Williams, Indiana on April 28, 2000.
The track diverging at the 2503's lead truck is a spur that goes into the
Williams co-op elevator. Williams is located right on the Adams/Allen
On occasion the Decatur local runs south of Central Soya to Dolco Packaging
on the southwest side of Decatur. The train uses a short segment
of the Erie Lackawanna mainline to do this. The connection to this
segment is where "DA" Tower once stood and the train backs up east onto
the EL main before heading west. In the first photo he is crossing
US 27 eastbound and then runs down the wobbly EL main towards the DA connection.