Timetables, a railfan's request

Posted by Brian Schmidt
on Friday, January 13, 2017

A westbound South Shore Line train holds up cross traffic on Washington Street in Michigan City in September 2013. Photo by Brian Schmidt

I don't think it's any secret that I like to watch trains. So I like to know when trains are coming, and that's of course easiest with passenger trains. Passenger train operators publish their schedules, or at least they used to.

A few months ago I was looking to photograph a train in Michigan City, Ind., on the famous trackage down 11th Street through downtown. South Shore Line commuter trains have shared the street with vehicles and pedestrians for a century now, and I never get tired of visiting there.

However, I was less than thrilled with the online schedule provided by operator Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. There's an online wizard for finding the next train, but I could not find a traditional timetable through my phone. Even today on my iMac I can't find one. It's frustrating.

Why can't we have the traditional timetable, in addition to the online widget? It would aid both railfans who aren't necessarily looking for the next train, and riders who want to plan a trip before their arrival on the platform.

Monday morning edit: I have found them on the webpage, and you will too if you read the comments on this blog post. I now amend my request for easy-to-find timetables from all passenger train operators and downloadable PDF files.

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