Fulton County Authority- Rochester, Indiana

Following the Erie Lackawanna’s 1972 bankruptcy, Conrail picked up the remains in 1976, and promptly eliminated all trackage west of Marion, Ohio as a through route. After short line operators Erie Western and Chicago & Indiana RR went belly-up, most of it was returned to Mother Nature. One segment west of Rochester,Indiana was retained by Fulton County as the Fulton County Authority. They ran west to Monterrey, Indiana to interchange with the Tippecanoe Railroad, another short line. This operation began in 1981, but only lasted for two years; the line was cut back all the way to a point just west of Rochester to serve a single grain elevator. This small 1-mile piece of track passed the old EL depot and interchanged with the N&W’s IMC branch the ran to Michigan City.


Short Line Indiana Hi-Rail took over operation of the IMC Line in 1989 through a lease, but the Fulton County continued their operation of the EL segment. I was fortunate enough to capture this line in service in 1999:

After Indiana Hi-Rail’s bankruptcy in 1996, Fulton County took over the IMC line up to the NS interchange at Argos.

The Alco C420 is now at a museum, but this grain elevator on the old EL continues to be served with leased NS power. As of May, 2010, the depot was still standing; although it has been gutted:

Rochester, Indiana

Rochester, Indiana


Service to the grain elevator continues, although local rumors have surfaced that the IMC may be on its last legs due to the economy. Along with it, the EL segment would also be in jeopardy. With the piece of trackage in Griffith, Indiana severed, and the 17-mile segment west of Monterrey now gone, this is now only one of two fragments of the former Erie Lackawanna in service in the Hoosier State!  Get your photos now!





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