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 MR77100
The South Shore ran down the middle of the street in East Chicago, Michigan City, and South Bend. Only the Michigan City segment remains today. Why were the other two segments abandoned and are there any remains?

  by MikeF
The street running in East Chicago was abandonded because it was dreadfully slow and was the cause of many accidents. In addition to the street traffic, there were also many railroad grade crossings in East Chicago. The bypass, which was built in coordination with the Indiana Toll Road, elminated those problems and reduced travel times significantly. Cracks in the pavement of Chicago Avenue from a few blocks west of Indianapolis Boulevard east to Kennedy Avenue mark the location of the former street running. Also, rail still exists in the weeds just east of the Toll Road at the west end of street trackage along the north side of Chicago Avenue.

I don't recall the exact reason street running was discontinued in South Bend, but I think it had to do with the city not wanting it anymore. Aside from the cut-off tracks by the old Bendix station, the only remnants of street running I've seen in South Bend are cracks in the pavement.

  by JLJ061
I believe the South Bend segment was abandoned because it could only be used for passenger service and not freight; So they were basically losing money on that route.

Here in this aerial picture you can still see the old right-of-way in East Chicago where the line turned southeast off Chicago Avenue at the east end of the street running section.
http://www.terraserver-usa.com/image.as ... 41.6288726

  by dinwitty
There were a few freight operations in South Bend (and I will be modeling one of them)

Mostly on the west side of the town.

Otherwise its passenger and their baggage service.
IE newspapers)

  by PRRGuy
"Absolutely, positively same day service to Chicago"

  by MR77100
I know the Little Joes were prohibited from going east of Bendix. There was a sign at the station that read "800's RESTRICTED." I think it was the hump on the bridge in downtown South Bend, where the tracks crossed the St. Joseph River that the units could not make. Most of the freight service was at Kaley's Lead by Grandview substation, where the airport line now branches off.

So the tracks in East Chicago actually swung southeast about a block west of the grade where the line now climbs up to the toll road?

Concerning Michigan City;I recall in one of my books a picture taken in front of the Michigan City depot of a second track branching off the main line. It looks like a passing siding. Does anyone know how long it was and when it was removed?

  by PRRGuy
There's a bridge visible just north of the Cline Ave overpass of the Indiana toll road, on the west side of Cline Ave. For years I wondered whose line it was. After seeing the earlier post I followed the r-o-w down toward the east end of the bypass and low and behold, it was the old mainline bridge.

  by JLJ061
That is absolutely correct, as I have an old cab-ride video that was filmed in 1927 showing of the "new South Shore," with one shot of the bridge going over the Grand Calumet River.

Looking at the old r-o-w it appears the old Harbison Walker lead that went up and over the current main was also part of the old mainline.

  by Tadman
If I'm not mistaken, the HW branch was the main, but it was more gentile than the hard 90 degree turn it takes now.

Also, from the toll road a bridge over a marshy area is visible, although the deck is gone - just timber pilings. Is this the one mentioned above?

  by PRRGuy
Is that the bridge pilings that are almost across from the East Chicago station?

Yeah, the HW branch looks like a short part of it was the old main, but i've never seen a map of exactly where it went..it just seemed to match up on web pictures.

  by PRRGuy
Concering the Michigan City passing siding on 11th street. I've seen pictures of it too and I'm pretty sure one pictures showed a little joe on the main there. I asked about it at work one day and my boss...who started in the 70's doesn't believe there was ever one there..he said its streetcar tracks but clearly one picture shows the switch at the east end.
All that coming from the same person who didn't know we had a stub-end siding named Olive.

  by MikeF
Sorry to hear your boss doesn't know there's a siding at Olive, or that there was a siding at Franklin Street. I think the siding in the street was about the length of a long passenger train and was there until sometime in the '60s.

  by PRRGuy
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the siding at Olive gone? I heard we took it out a couple years back.

  by dinwitty
a lot of sidings on the interurbans were quick stop get outa the way for opposing traffic. Rather a neccesary evil.

there is/was an Olive siding.

I have the CERA book...good reference...hehe

I will be modeling the SS around the 50s

  by MikeF
Uh, PRRGuy, you might want to check your shiny new Timetable No. 8. :P Olive siding still is in place at MP 10.4. It's track number 1001, with a capacity of 46 cars.