The Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company (IN) operates in the Tri-State
region of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Much of the railroad's track
is in Michigan, however quite a bit runs across Northeast Indiana.
IN operates on two east-west lines, one north-south line, and a small remnant
of another north-south line. All of the lines are connected.
In Indiana and Ohio the IN operates on the old N&W Gary District (former
Wabash) from South Milford to Pergo Junction (near Montpelier, Ohio).
From here they operate on the NS Huntington District to get into Norfolk
Southern's Montpelier Yard, the primary interchange point. The main
north-south line is the former New York Central route between Fort Wayne
and Jackson, Michigan. This track is used from Steubenville, Indiana
north to Hillsdale, Michigan, the location of IN's primary operating headquarters.
At Hillsdale the line turns to the west and connects with the New York
Central "Old Road" which they operate on to Coldwater, Michigan and eventually
Sturgis. At Jonesville, Michigan the line to Litchfield branches
off to the north and runs to the Michigan South Central Power Agency Plant
in Litchfield. This line was once part of the Lake Shore and Michigan
Southern route to Lansing, Michigan.
Most of the present Indiana Northeastern system was taken over following
the demise of the Hillsdale County Railroad, who operated it for many years
Branch County Rail Users Association (RUA - a not for profit group) bought the
track from Quincy to Sturgis and took title after a lawsuit with Michigan
southern in 2003 over what right of way was included. The RUA in 2005 sold the
portion from Behnke Road west of Coldwater to Sturgis to INER and used the money
to repair tracks from Quincy to Coldwater. Trains run almost daily to serve
several customers in the industrial park who are the owners of the RUA with the
city of Coldwater. The line westward to Sturgis is almost unusable because of
rotten ties. The
Railroad moved its steam locomotives and cars from White Pigeon to Coldwater in
spring 2005. It ran weekend trips to Quincy from Coldwater plus special fall
foliage, Halloween, and Santa trips. There were 4,200 paid customers in 2005.
This prompted the owners to purchase land to build a new maintenance storage
spur and building plus purchase the old train station.
Several of the New York Central depots are still standing on the system,
including Pleasant Lake, Angola, Montgomery, Coldwater, and Jonesville.
Pleasant Lake depot still stands and is maintained. This is facing
southeast on the IN and the depot used to be the boarding area for the Little
River Railroad's steam excursions. October 22, 2005.
The Lake Central
Railroad runs excursion trains on portions of this line during different
parts of the season. In 2005 they ran trains select weekends from May through
October with additional runs during the peak of the fall season in October. They
also ran several Holiday trains during December. These rides usually take about
2 hours while traveling at 15mph to allow you to see all the beautiful
landscapes that north eastern Indiana has to offer.
Lake Central 2006 Excursion Calendar
* All scheduled runs for 2006 have been cancelled!
to Hamilton @ 10:00a,12:30p,&3:00p - October 14-15Angola
to Hamilton @ 10:00a,12:30p,&3:00p - October 21-22Angola
to Hamilton @ 10:00a,12:30p,&3:00p - October 28-29Angola
to Hamilton @ 10:00a,12:30p,&3:00p - December 2-3Santa
Express @ 10:00a,12:00p,2:00p,4:00p -
Express @ 10:00a,12:00p,2:00p,4:00p - December 16-17Santa
Express @ 10:00a,12:00p,2:00p,4:00p -
visit their website
for more information on purchasing tickets.
161.100 MHz - Indiana Northeastern (Channel 1)
161.400 MHz - Indiana Northeastern (Channel 2)
160.380 MHz - NS Huntington District (used from Pergo Jct. to Montpelier,
The former Detroit and Toledo Shore Line #47 that had for the better part of
the last two decades had been the PGRV (Pigeon River) 47 was recently
re-stenciled to IBCX reporting marks keeping its number. On Friday, December 2
it was shipped off to Montpelier, Ohio for interchange with Norfolk Southern.
It's ultimate destination is undisclosed at this point.
The IN operates sporadically throughout the week. I usually will
monitor their frequency when I'm in the area. If they are switching
nearby, most of the time they'll be on the radio. Once they are enroute
someplace, the radio is fairly quiet. The trains usually will check
in with the railroad's dispatcher over the radio to advise of their progress
throughout the day. Speeds on the line in Indiana are about 10 mph.
In Michigan the speeds are slightly higher, especially south of Hillsdale.
Pretty much all of system's rail is jointed, except for the branch up to
Litchfield which is continuous welded rail. To the enjoyment of railfans,
the IN operates a fleet of older diesels. The Nickel Plate-like paint
scheme applied to their locomotives can help create some "remember when"
photos. The IN operates the entire railroad under Rule 93, which
is Yard Limit Authority. There are no block limits and trains operate
at restricted speed. Coal trains operate between Montpelier, Ohio
and Litchfield, Michigan. The railroad also ships a lot of grain,
as well as coiled wire, glass, and other goods.
black, PGRV gold lettering w/end stripes
Sold and shipped to IBCX 12/05
Indiana Northeastern Lifesaver
GP9 #1770, repainted
in Summer 2002. This is in Hamilton, IN on August 18, 2002. Photo
by Jay Williams.
GP30 #2185, repainted
September 2002 is with PGRV #47 at South Milford, Indiana. Photo
by Troy Strane.
GP30 #2230 is seen
here at Hillsdale, Michigan on June 25, 2001. Photo by Jay Williams.
GP30 #2230 seen in the process of
being repainted on August 27, 2005. Photo by John Holman.
GP30 #2230 in a brand new coat of paint. Photo courtesy of Howard Pletcher.
June 22, 2000 an eastbound Indiana Northeastern train rounds the curve
at CR 200W, just east of Ashley, IN.
kind of spooky seeing the train pop out of the weedy right-of-way.
Here the same eastbound IN train seen at Ashley above is now approaching
Hamilton right near Ball Lake on June 22, 2000.
1602 accelerates westward past the first crossing west of Hamilton, IN
with a mile long train on July 17, 2000.
Classic 1st generation diesel acceleration - one of the highlights of railfanning
the IN. [MP3 Format, 316K, 38 sec.]
of Indiana Northeastern's GP7s, Nos. 1602 and 1603 pass just west of Hamilton,
Indiana taking a train eastbound to Montpelier, Ohio.
Northeastern 1770 sits idle in Pleasant Lake, IN on May 10, 2000.
At this time 1770 was still painted in Hillsdale County yellow and green.
interesting engine the Indiana Northeastern used to operate was Pigeon
River (PGRV) 47, a GP7. This is at the State Road 327 crossing
in Helmer, Indiana on July 17, 2000.
[MP3 Format, 318K, 40 sec.]
IN 1602 and 1603 lead a long westbound train across the State Road
427 crossing in Hamilton, IN on July 17, 2000.
August 7, 2003 the 1601 leads a weed sprayer westbound across the County
Road 575W crossing west of Hudson, Indiana.
Montpelier, Ohio, Indiana Northeastern runs on part of the Norfolk Southern
Huntington District to get into Montpelier Yard. Pergo Junction is
about 3/4 mile west of Williams County Road 10. Here on June 22,
2001, IN GP9 #1770 and GP7 #1601 pull a short eastbound off their line
through Pergo and then run east to the yard.
1770 is probably my favorite loco that IN operates. It has a pleasant
horn, as well. [MP3 Format, 222K, 27 sec.]