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 MichiganMike
I read a SouthBend News article that didn't necessarily frown on railfans, that talked about their activites and troubles they have had / how they can help.

Go here to be aquainted with the article:

http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories ... __Coul.sto

It mentions:

Authorities must secure more than 90 miles of track used by the South Shore commuter line between South Bend and Chicago. A new camera system is being installed along the route, but employees and riders still are being asked to keep an eye out for suspicious people or activity.

Robert Byrd, chief of the South Shore commuter line's transit police, said rail fans are an asset to the South Shore system, but he doesn't see a need to form a more formal relationship with them.

That in mind, if I were to go to a place such as Michigan City ( Im certainly going to let things cool off before watching at a high speed stretch along the wires such as Lydick where I definately may look out of place) but what kind of inquiry might I be subject to? Ive heard terrible rumors about authoriteis confinscating cameras etc, but cannot confirm them.


  by MikeF
I think you're overreacting. It's been my (and many others') experience that the South Shore tends to be one of the more railfan-friendly lines out there, even now after all the employees have gone through their terrorism training courses. They know what's suspicious and what's benign. You're not likely to encounter trouble if you go railfanning in Michigan City, Lydick or anywhere else.
  by MichiganMike
Thank You very much MikeF, I wasn't trying to overreact and basically wanted to hear just what you had to say and appreciate your response.

Back where I live in Michigan they are trying to pass a really strict and poorly written law with loose ends that turns RR trespassing 100 slap on the wrist into a Felony and then they use loose terms like being "along" the right of way and not necessarily on it. Im responisble not to trespass so I don't expect to have a problem, but just trying to stay safe. I guess Ive read to much "hype" on the internet.

Disreguarding the hype, I hope to have another good time watching America's last interurban.. may you suggest any especially good spots besides Michigan City to watch? I expect to patronize and ride the line West or East of Michigan City also, since Ill be coming to Michigan City on Amtrak from where I live... have any suggestions? Ive been wanting to check out Beverly Shores.

Thank You,


  by dinwitty
London seems to be the more politicically correct place to go dropping bombs.

just have to think how the terrorist tries to think.

It seems the real terrorist event that got thru was the Twin Towers, but it was attacked before years ago, and as a building it seems politically sensitive to attack it.

I agree with all the concerns that the transportaion lines have to be concerned about, but we should not let terrorism get to us or try to drown our enjoyment, of life, hobbies and train watching and modeling.

I say phoey on the looney terrorists, they mean nothing, don't let them bug you.

  by PRRGuy
Somehow I really doubt a NICTD policeman is going to take the time to track down reports of " a guy standing by the track" with a camera. Heck, they dont even show up within the hour for anything, such as last time i worked in gary and my car got broken into...speaking of MikeF..i got the check today. I guess this place is good for something.

Also, as for spots around town, you might want to use the roeske ave bridge that crosses over the yard. Who knows, you might even see me out there.

  by Tadman
All my life people have asked me why I live in South Bend, that nothing happens there. Now I can tell them: because the South Shore is there, and I don't get hassled for enjoying a candy bar while I watch their trains.

But seriously, here are my favorite CSS spots:
-Sheridan at Odd:30 on weekends, you'll see two trains meet and sunday afternoon is a three-way meet with a frieght
-East of Ogden dunes one can watch the trains shoot past while watching NS switch port of indiana (but don't go north of the tracks, big keep out signs)
-Hegewisch, watch CSS and NS's ex-NKP auto yard at Ford.
-Roosevelt Road
-Art Institute (east wing, west side has windows looking on the tracks) also from outside is a pleasant area to view.
  by holtlen
I hope to contribute a little helpful info to this thread. I have been railfanning and taking video often since 9/11 in the South Bend area. Never right at the airport/SS Terminal which understandably may be a high security area. At other locations I have occasionally been approached by police, but never with negative results (i.e. chased off) and always with utmost courtesy on their part.

The South Shore can be observed at many good spots. Lydick is mentioned elsewhere in this thread as a place where one might look suspicious, but I occasionally go there, again never having had negative results. The local street crossing just west of Quince Road is pretty good for both NS and SS. Further west, the small station at Hudson Lake is OK at train time, and a nice ice cream parlor is right there at the site for slow times!

Grandview crossing in South Bend is good also, where the SS curves north away from the NS mainline. And just about anywhere around Bendix Drive is easily accessible and has that 'side of the road' interurban flavor too. As many already know, the line along Bendix is slated for removal after SS trains are shifted to the other end of the airport sometime in the future.

With fall (defined in South Bend as Notre Dame Football Season) coming soon, N.D. Football specials add to the interest as well, usually parking at the passing siding along Bendix while the game is on. I've never known whether these load and unload at the siding or at the airport station?

L Holt
South Bend

  by Tadman
It's typical south shore style for football train unloading: do it where it works! This means some on the second track at the airport, some at makeshift platforms by the old Bendix factory on westmoore, and at one time also at Bendix station (old blue Amslum). You'll notice the special platforms are on single track on westmoore, and they look like the platform extenders at Hegewisch and Ogden Dunes where the platform is only for westbound trains, so eastbound passengers go from westboung platform, across makshift mini-plats to the train.