Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by AmtrakFan
There was talk earlier today about rerouting 29/49 on the CSS&SB which didn't happen. So I was thinking has Amtrak ever detoured on the CSS&SB before?

  by MikeF
Not to my knowledge. The South Shore doesn't have connections to freight railroads in places that would make it a likely candidate for Amtrak trains if they were to detour off the former New York Central.

  by JLJ061
There were two times that I recall back in the early 90's when the Lake Shore and Capitol (pre-Superliners) Limiteds detoured on the South Shore between South Bend and Burns Harbor. If memory serves the reason was due to heavy freight traffic on the Conrail line which would have severely delayed the Amtrak trains.

I'm sure would have been quite a sight to see Amtrak doing street running through Michigan City!

  by Tadman
I've seen a picture around 1990 in Trains of just that - as far as freight RR interchanges, the CSS has (had?) Olive siding (NYC); Shops (PM); Burns Harbor (NYC); Miller (B&O); Gary (EJE, PRR, Wab); Hegewisch (IHB, PRR); Kensington (MC, IC) - if you check ebay now and then, you'll find a CSS clip-board or notepad for sale with a diagram of all CSS's interchanges available - these were made years ago to promote bridge traffic.

I asked the question on the Amtrak forum - would Amtrak request a de-energize of the catenary? They always do that when supers run on NEC property. I guess out here its no big deal between the highliners and the occasional diesel train pinch hitting for CSS in the 80's. (it was train 117 at 4:56PM and it was a blast to ride for the first year after the electrics resumed the schedule slot - very few stops cos the diesel was SLOW, but the electrics were fast and that train COOKED!)

  by AmtrakFan
It's gonna happen 29/49 are detouring today.
Account a BIG NS derailment at C.P 451 near South Bend, Amtrak trains 29
(Capitol Ltd) and #49 (The Lake Shore Ltd) will detour via the CSS&SB
from Bendix (South Bend) to C.P. 487 just west of Burns Harbor, IN. This
will see the trains RUN DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AT MICHIGAN CITY,IN. Get this train FOLKS!!!!!!!

  by JLJ061
Sorry, but it didn't happen. I happened to see both 29 and 49 on the NS going through LaPorte today (though they had to crawl at a snail's pace past the wreck site).

  by Tadman
crumbs that would have been a good picture.

where is the interchange w/ NYC/NS at Bendix? I know the route pretty well around there and don't remember where the interchange is (other than near bendix)

  by AmtrakFan
Sorry Folks this came from a very good source who said it was going to happen they had everything planned.

  by PRRGuy
That would've really been a shock to see. I was working at shops this morning. I've taked to a couple engineers that remember being pilots on detoured amtrak trains. And yes, thats exactly how they moved them along the line...get our trains out of the way, then turn off the part of the wire. I'll have to see if anyone took pictures of a meet between a south shore train and a genesis powered amtrak running on a 1920's vintage block signal system.

  by MikeF
Glad it didn't happen ... I was out chasing a different Amtrak detour today (the Empire Builder on the WC/CN) and would have kicked myself if I had missed Amtrak on the South Shore!

  by JLJ061
Tadman wrote:crumbs that would have been a good picture.

where is the interchange w/ NYC/NS at Bendix? I know the route pretty well around there and don't remember where the interchange is (other than near bendix)
Just west of the Amtrak depot. The interchange comes off NS Track 1 and crosses the old mainline on a diamond into a small yard right by the Bosch plant.

Actually would have been a sight to see the Capitol Limited run over the line; Always wondered how Superliners would have fared under catenary.

  by Tadman
no kidding... that answers my next two questions:
1. what is that spur coming off CSS going west into Bendix
2. why is the old main maintained if Bendix doesn't ship by rail

but here's a reasonable question: am I correct in assuming bendix/honeywell/bosch no long ships by rail? I was at the honeywell portion of the plant last week and I didn't see any rail-oriented shipping.

  by JLJ061
1. That's the old Bendix Siding, which was occasionally used for meets when the CSS still went downtown.
2. Not sure what you mean by "maintained." The old main is now totally rusted over and practically dewired between the depot and Grandview Substation. Only reason it's still there is for the interchange with the NS there.

How often does the CSS interchange with NS? No idea there, maybe someone else here can answer that one. I do remember for a time after the line switched over to the airport the CSS kept some freight cars in the small yard there, mostly coal hoppers.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
What roads have detoured on the CSS? Any pics?

  by JLJ061
Don't know if this qualifies as detouring but during the 90's the Grand Trunk would take steel trains to and from Midwest Steel via the SouthShore.

They would take the NS Michigan City branch from Stillwell to Michigan City, where a connector track was built on the west side of the Shops. They would then head west on the CSS to Wilson, where another connector track was added to connect with Conrail there.

There are probably pics of these trains on the CSS somewhere online if you look hard enough. :-)