Erie Lackawanna - Huntington County, Indiana

Huntington County map

State St. and Erie St. intersection in Huntington, near the Little Wabash River


The Erie Lackawanna entered eastern Huntington County at Markle, crossing underneath Interstate 69.  It was at Markle where the tracks diverged away from US 224.  The tracks then turned northwest towards Simpson and entered Huntington from the southeast.  The line ran through the east side of Huntington, never crossing the Wabash River.  It did cross the Little Wabash River, however.  Huntington lies in a valley and there was a significant grade for EL trains on both sides of the city.  For the most part, the EL was a north-south line through Huntington, however the timetable direction remained east-west.  Huntington was a crew change point for most trains and today you will still find some ex-Erie Lackawanna employees residing in Huntington.  The EL crossed the N&W at WR Tower in Huntington.  A yard just northwest of the diamonds facilitated interchanges with the N&W and switching for several local industries.  A small diesel shop was also there.  The EL ran northwest out of Huntington, crossing under the US 24 by-pass on the north side of town and then crossing Clear Creek westward towards Bippus.  The TCS began at CX interlocking near Huntington College.


The I-69 bridge in Markle was torn down several years ago but there is still a rise in the interstate north of the exit for US 224 (Exit 86) where it once was.  Look to the east at this location and you will see the right of way - barely.  To the west of this location much of the right of way has been plowed up towards Huntington.  In Huntington the yard and depot are all long gone.  The depot actually burned down in the mid-1980's; a victim of an arsonist.  Nothing remains of WR Tower or the interlocking.  There are very little signs of the EL in Huntington.  The biggest sign is the bridge over the Little Wabash River which is just southeast of E. State St.  A section of the EL-N&W interchange track still remains across the Market St. crossing.  From Market St. west to Business US 24 the right of way is now part of Yeoman Park.  Near the Business 24 crossing, which passed under the EL, there is a concrete telephone shanty still standing.  A few miles northwest of Huntington is a bridge over Clear Creek and another one across County Road 700N.  Just east of Bippus at County Road 750W is the ghost of WO Interlocking.
At Simpson, Indiana the tracks ran right next to this co-op elevator.  The only evidence of the EL here is the remaining telegraph pole to the left which still has wires hanging from it.  There once was a radio base station in this area, but nothing remains of it.

At Market St. in Huntington this track is the sole survivor of the EL.  It is the leftover interchange track with the N&W (later NS) who used it in the post-EL era to access a few businesses in the area.  The passenger station was to the right of this track on the opposite side of Market St.

Market Street Comparisons:  1965 vs. 1999

Side by side comparisons taken at Market St. in Huntington.  The capture on the left was taken from the Revelation Video "EL Legacy" and is around 1965 in Huntington (photographer is in the video's credits).  The picture on the right was taken in 1999 and we are facing eastward on the EL in both photos looking at Market St.  The Alco PA's are to the right of the where the truck trailers are on the left in the 1999 view.  The remaining rail is the one to the left of the Alco PAs.  The large fuel tank is now a memory.  It's pretty incredible how things can change in 30 years.

Looking northwest down the EL right-of-way in Huntington from the ex-N&W diamond.  The mains ran to the right of the tractor trailers which are parked on the left in this photo and the street in the foreground never crossed the EL - it was lengthened after the tracks were pulled up.

This is the bridge over the Little Wabash River just southeast of E. State St. in Huntington.  This is looking westward (compass direction is north).


Huntington, Indiana Rail Map

This map/diagram I created to show a bit more detail of how the Erie Lackawanna passed through Huntington.
Click here to view


The Erie Lackawanna mainline crossed Business US 24 on a bridge before it ran northwest towards Huntington College.  In this location today there is just a slight trace of the railroad.
A view looking eastbound across US 24.  Below on the right there is a concrete telephone shanty.  I have seen pictures of this up on top of the right of way.  In the distance is the north end of Yeoman Park and you can see its brick sign in the grass.  There is noticable trace of the grade in the distance.  Taken 2/18/01.  (49K photo) 


Northwest of Huntington, both Huntington County Road 300W and Clear Creek Road crossed the Erie Lackawanna mainline on similar looking bridges which went up and over the double track line.  The tracks in this area ran through a cut and a train passing through here would be lower than the ground, but the top 1/2 or so of the train would still stick up above the ground.  Both bridges have been long removed today, but evidence of the railroad is still present at both locations.

County Road 300W
Eastbound view from the former CR 300W bridge location.  In the distance, the tracks used to curve to the right and head into Huntington.  The right-of-way cut has been filled in here and grass planted.  Aside from the rusting guardrail in the foreground, few people today would ever realize that trains ever passed under this road.  (36K photo)
Westbound view from CR 300W.  West of the road the cut is still there, although it is saturated with trees.  Between this bridge and Clear Creek Rd. was a crossover switch and a semaphore.  In the Green Frog Erie Lackawanna video set, Emery Gulash shot some footage from this bridge in 1972 showing a westbound freight led by a U25B.  There is also some footage in the EL West End video by Revelation Videos taken from this bridge.  (56K photo)
Both photos above taken 2/18/01.

Clear Creek Rd.
Looking eastbound from the former Clear Creek Rd. bridge location.  The light snowfall actually helps to distinguish the right of way from the surrounding area. (67K photo)
Looking westbound from Clear Creek Rd.  In the summer it is very difficult to see this cut.  (86K photo)
Both photos taken 1/25/01.

Just east of SR 5, this is the steel bridge over County Road 700N about 3 miles northwest of Huntington.  On the south side of this bridge is the skeleton of a semaphore.  Just 100' or so to the south is the Clear Creek bridge which still stands.

The bridge still stands over Clear Creak, for now.



Taken from about 800' above the ground, this is looking east above the Clear Creek bridge.  The yellow line shows the Erie Lackawanna right-of-way, which is nothing but a solid line of trees and brush.  The road on the left side of the picture is CR 700N.  The bridge is faintly visible on the bottom middle part of the picture.  It's better seen in the winter months when the vegetation is gone.  August 4, 2000.


At County Road 700N the bridge still stands.  By the thickness of the trees and brush in this area, you would think this line was abandoned for a century or more.
Looking west across the CR 700N bridge.  Taken 1/1/06. (79K photo)

East of Bippus, Indiana are the remnants of WO interlocking.  To the right is the signal mast which contains no lenses and the relay shed is on the left buried in the weeds.  This was the western end of the double track from Marion, Ohio.
The WO signal mast looms high above.
An encouraging message inside the relay shed at WO, just a little too late.

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© Original Content Copyright 1999-2007 David Safdy
© Design and Updates Copyright 2005-2007 Greg Lavoie