Fort Wayne - Runnion

Runnion Map


Located on the Chicago District, Runnion interlocking is located 1 mile west of downtown Fort Wayne between Leesburg Rd. and Runnion Ave.  It is the junction of the GR&I and OmniSource industrial tracks.  A remnant of the old New Castle District is just east of Runnion Ave.  Part of the old east wye is connected to the Chicago District to the east of Runnion Ave.  It only continues south for a few hundred feet.  In the above photo we are looking east down the Chicago District from Runnion Ave.  The lone crossover allows travel between main 2 and 1.  The track on the extreme left is the lead for the GR&I and OmniSource industrial tracks.  The tall red building in the distance is St. Joseph Hospital.  The westbound signal at Runnion is the only operational Nickel Plate style signal left in Fort Wayne.

Runnion sign


At one time Runnion was a very significant junction on the Norfolk Southern system, but after the removal of the New Castle District rails north of Junction in 1999 and the removal of the GR&I between Runnion and Junction, Runnion interlocking has much less significance and traffic now.  The interlocking at Runnion consists only of a single crossover.  The other switches are hand throw types.  NS runs a local on weekdays (sometimes on weekends) that runs up the GR&I track.  Since most of NS' east-west traffic runs on the Chicago Line to the north, the Chicago District through here is very slow and you normally won't find a whole lot of action on it during the daytime.  No trains use the OmniSource track on a regular basis and it is out of service east of St. Marys Ave.  Occasional surplus car storage is about the only usage it has today.  The old New Castle District remnant is only used for storage, as well.
Runnion interlocking is private property.  If you haven't already, please review the Railfanning Tips page.



Looking west from Runnion Ave. the GR&I lead diverges off to the right.  The GR&I diamonds were once a few hundred feet to the west.

A view of Runnion looking east from the Leesburg Rd. crossing.  These modern signals protect eastbound movement, while the westbound movements are still governed by a Nickel Plate style dual mast type signal.

Here we are looking north at where the diamond once was. It's hard to believe that trains used to run right under the camera here.











NS local LF14 slowly makes it's way up the GR&I towards the overpass at Spring St on December 6, 2005  

There once was a time when all you ever saw were long hood forward NS trains.  Today it is extremely rare.  On this June 12, 1993 NS 3241 leads eastbound #143, a manifest to Macon, Georgia, on the Chicago District and then turns the corner south down the old New Castle District towards Junction.  Today this train no longer runs through Fort Wayne and this routing to the New Castle District has been eliminated.  The track on the immediate left was the wobbly lead to the OmniSource track (ex-NYC) which was operated by Conrail at this time.  To access this track Conrail trains used to go north on the GR&I from Junction, cross the Chicago District, and then back up onto this track.  NS has redone the track since then and a new lead is in place off of the Chicago District near Runnion Ave for easier access.

This is looking north down the GR&I track at Runnion which at one time crossed the Chicago District here.  These diamonds and the GR&I south of this point have long since been removed.


Conrail used to operate on the GR&I north of Junction until the mid-1990's with a local from Piqua Yd.   Here he is southbound on the GR&I crossing the NS Chicago District at Runnion in June 1993.  Note the stubby "home" signal in the left picture - it is to the left of the lead engine.  These diamonds are removed today and the GR&I is run by NS and starts just north of this location.  It is still referred to by Norfolk Southern as the GR&I.  In the first photo the bridge overpass is Spring St. and the connecting track to the right is how the Conrail locals used to get to the NYC track to OmniSource.

Runnion Comparisons - 1993 vs. 1999

This is looking south towards PARK and Junction from Runnion.  In the left photo the same Conrail local is making its way back to Piqua Yd.  The photo on the right was taken looking exactly the same direction in July 1999.  The reference points are the large billboard in the center, the white control box to its left, and the 2 power lines above.  Just about everything has been removed except for the billboard and the power lines.

More Runnion Comparisons (1993 vs. 1999)

The same photo as above on the left (taken in 1993) and the one on the right was taken in 1999.  The GR&I track now curves into the NS Chicago District and the diamonds are now removed at Runnion.


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