The Erie Lackawanna entered Adams County and the State of Indiana from
the east at Rivare and ran west into Decatur. It crossed the St.
Mary's River on twin bridges and from here it ran along the south side
of town, crossing the Penn Central (GR&I) at DA Tower. The tracks
continued westward out of town and crossed US 224. After this crossing
the tracks began to parallel US 224 all the way to Markle.
Just about all of the EL rail has been removed in Adams County except for
a small segment in Decatur which is used by RailAmerica. Dolco Packaging
is located on the west side of Decatur and occasionally receives plastic
pellets from RailAmerica (CFER) using the Erie Lackawanna mainline west
of DA Tower. The CFER local accesses this trackage from the ex-GR&I
via a connector track at Line St. DA Tower has been gone for quite
some time but the radio antenna is still standing. Buried in the
trees between Industrial Park Rd. and W. Monroe St. on the west side of
Decatur are two very small segments of the eastward track. Neither
segment is connected to the CFE line nor to each other. I'm not sure
why this portion remains. At Winchester St. the freight station survives
as the Arnold Lumber Company but unfortunately the passenger station did
not fair so well. In 1998 it was torn down and a new boys & girls
club was built in its place, stretching out across the EL right-of-way.
Had it survived, the passenger station would have been 150 years old in
2001. The twin St. Marys River bridges are still standing in Decatur
and the north bridge is part of a rail-trail path. A concrete water tower
base stands next to the bridges.
westward on the EL right-of-way at County Road 375E, just west of Rivare.
A narrow trail has been blazed through the tall trees which are swallowing
up the right-of-way. The pile of broken-up asphalt is likely the
remnants of the one time grade crossing.
Erie Lackawanna crossed Piqua Rd. at grade. Here we are looking west
down the right-of-way and one telegraph pole remains on the north side
of the EL path.
at Piqua Rd. are the concrete remnants of the grade crossing on both sides
of the road.
Mercer Ave. (old US 33) in Decatur, this is part of the Kekionga Pathway
trail down the EL right-of-way looking east. To the left is an old
concrete water tower base, similar to the one in Rochester, Indiana.
The path leads to the twin bridges across the St. Mary's River (see below).
pathway continues through the former westbound bridge which is being quickly
consumed by trees and other shrubbery.
Pretty creepy.....imagine the NY-100 piggyback train coming through
this bridge now. This trail is not too safe to walk on as it is very
secluded and not heavily traveled.
is the Erie Lackawanna freight depot at Winchester St. which survives as
a storage building for the Arnold Lumber Co. The tracks were directly
in front of the station in this picture.
east down the EL right-of-way you can see the freight depot in the distance.
The large building on the left houses the gymnasium for the Decatur Boys
& Girls club and was built halfway across the EL main. The passenger
station was near the left side of this building. Interestingly, this building
is painted in Erie structure colors. Coincidence?
pile of bricks leftover from the old brick platform that once ran alongside
the EL mains at the Decatur passenger station. This platform was
torn up along with the passenger station.
this is the antenna from DA Tower which guarded the EL/PC diamonds at Decatur.
The tower no longer stands today, but this amazing relic is still here
today. What frequency did it (and the EL) transmit on in Indiana?
161.400 MHz was the main frequency and no you won't hear anything on it
west on the former EL westbound main at Line St. near DA Tower in Decatur.
The track veering off to the right is the connection to the GR&I which
is used by the CFER to get on the Erie Lackawanna trackage. You can
see the above antenna mast to the left of the telegraph pole.
eastbound Erie Lackawanna passes through Decatur, Indiana.
Mimicking the past is C721, the old CSX Fort Wayne to Decatur local,
backing up westbound on the EL eastbound main towards the US 27 crossing
in Decatur, Indiana. The only things missing here are the westbound
main (to the right) and the attractive maroon, grey, and yellow paint on
July 18, 2000.
light engines are now returning east, now on the EL westbound main at DA
Tower. This is facing east. The tan building in the distance
behind the engines is the gymnasium of the Decatur Boys & Girls Club
and, as you can see, sits atop the northern half of the EL right-of-way.
The track the engines are on used to go through the spot where the gym
July 18, 2000.
DA Tower in Decatur controlled the crossing diamonds with the Penn
Central GR&I line, as well as a set of crossovers on either side of
the diamonds. The tower burned down many years ago. Conrail
took over this portion of the line for access to a local shipper after
the Penn Central. RailAmerica's CFE now uses this segment and usage
is fairly often.
Looking eastward on the EL at DA Tower.
You can see several of the pull-rod supports for the signals and crossovers
still remain on the right. In the distance is the radio tower once
used by operators at DA. It is just to the left of the 4th telegraph
pole from the left. The track in the foreground is the former eastbound
main. It then curves into the former westbound main. This location
was the west crossover. In the distance the track ends just west of the
Decatur Boys & Girls Club gymnasium, which is built atop the northern
1/2 of the Erie Lackawanna right of way. (56K photo). Taken
Between W. Monroe St. and Industrial Park Rd. are two disconnected
segments of the EL eastbound main. Neither segment is connected to
the currently used portion.
A sad view facing eastward near W. Monroe
St. It's hard to imagine a train passing on this today.
Some of the trees growing on the tracks here are almost as thick as a telephone
pole! (70K photo). Taken 2/11/01.
US 224 Crossing
Erie Lackawanna crossed US 224 west of Decatur right near County Road 200W.
This is standing atop the right-of-way looking west at US 224. The
tracks were to the left of the billboard. There is one telegraph
pole still standing in the huge clump of trees which now occupy the EL
mains. Hoosier Propane, whose tanks are in this picture, is built
on the right-of-way.
As a comparison of this location, check out these two photos on George
Elwood's Fallen Flags site, taken by himself in 1965:
- Eastbound freight with PA's approaches US 224, approximately where the
billboard sign is above.
- Looking the other way, the train is passing through what is now Hoosier
Looking at the site of this former crossing today it's hard to believe
anything went through here, let alone two Alco PA beauties.
at County Road 400W in Preble, Indiana. We are looking directly east
on the right-of-way which passed to the left of the co-op elevator.
One lone telegraph pole remains far in the distance.
west side of Preble is Firemen's Park. If you enter the park from
CR 450W you'll drive on top of the Erie Lackawanna roadbed. Near
the baseball diamond is an Erie concrete telephone shanty and to the left
is a concrete whistle post.
County Road 600W, which passes through Magley, Indiana this is looking
east down the Erie Lackawanna. The tracks were to the right of the
tall line of utility poles. There are just about no signs of the
EL here except for a slight hump in the road where the tracks used to cross.