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North Vernon, Indiana

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  • Member since
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  • From: Valparaiso, In
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North Vernon, Indiana
Posted by MP173 on Thursday, March 15, 2007 2:27 PM

Anyone have any idea of CSX or shortline operations in North Vernon, Indiana?

ed

  • Member since
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  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
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Posted by gabe on Thursday, March 15, 2007 2:49 PM

Ed,

I have gone there about four-or-five times.  Sadly, I have never caught a train.  However, it is clear that CSX has done a lot of work on its line in the area and the Madison Railway right of way looks remarkably well kept for a short line.  Thus, there is some chance you might get a train, as they likely are not doing all that maintenance work for nothing.

If you have the time, something I highly recommend, is to swing down to Madison (about 35 minutes from N. Vernon) and stand at the foot of the steepest grade in the United States (5.89%).  Sadly, they no longer conduct business over this portion of the line, but it is so steep, just standing there and looking at it picturing Pennsy SD-9s running up it was very moving.  It would be somewhat of a miracle if the power plant at the foot of the hill decided to start shipping by rail again.  It would be on par with UP anouncing that its next 50 units purchased will be Challengers.

I would put the hill at the City of Madison up there with the Tulip trussel in terms of Indiana railroad must sees.  Plus, you might catch some short line action in the city of Madison.  They still conduct rail business right up to the foot of the hill.

Of course, if you would like to swing by Indy, assuming I am not in the salt mine, my door is always open to you.

Gabe

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  • From: Muncie, Indiana...Orig. from Pennsylvania
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Posted by Modelcar on Thursday, March 15, 2007 3:09 PM

...Now you can imagine how we felt when we visited Saluda, NC...and stood and looked down such a grade and wondered...that they actually brought trains up that grade....and held them back on the way down too...And this was a main line almost as steep as the Madison grade...Believe it's steepest touched 5.1%.

An Awesome site...!

Quentin

  • Member since
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  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
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Posted by gabe on Thursday, March 15, 2007 3:16 PM
 Modelcar wrote:

...Now you can imagine how we felt when we visited Saluda, NC...and stood and looked down such a grade and wondered...that they actually brought trains up that grade....and held them back on the way down too...And this was a main line almost as steep as the Madison grade...Believe it's steepest touched 5.1%.

An Awesome site...!

In many ways, Saluda is more impressive than Madison, as it is about 10 times as long.  That having been said, the relative short length of Madison kind of gives it more of a roller coaster appearance.

Gabe

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  • From: Muncie, Indiana...Orig. from Pennsylvania
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Posted by Modelcar on Thursday, March 15, 2007 3:32 PM

....I'm sure they're both impressive.

Quentin

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  • From: Valparaiso, In
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Posted by MP173 on Thursday, March 15, 2007 5:11 PM

I will wave when passing Indy.  Got another basketball tournament this weekend, so it will be tough to get out, but perhaps the line is next to the motel.  Anyone know the frequency used by CSX down there?

 

I would love to get to Madison, but doubt it will happen.  I went to college at Hanover (5 miles west) and am aware of the grade.  Unfortunately, as a railfanning college student, I didnt go catch any of the action on the line. I might have taken a couple of pics of the SD's, would have to check.

I will run around North Vernon a bit...hopefully the old B&O signals are around.

Anyone know about the tunnels further west on the B&O line.  I might go back in a couple of weeks on spring break.

 

ed

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Posted by Poppa_Zit on Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:54 PM
Speaking of steep grades, does anyone know the grade where the Chicago Blue Line El ascends from ground level on the Eisenhower Expressway to get to 54th & Cermak? 
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They are not entitled, however, to their own facts." No we can't. Charter Member J-CASS (Jaded Cynical Ascerbic Sarcastic Skeptics) Notary Sojac & Retired Foo Fighter "Where there's foo, there's fire."
  • Member since
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  • From: Valparaiso, In
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Posted by MP173 on Friday, March 16, 2007 12:28 PM

Anyone know the radio frequency for the CSX line thru North Vernon?

 

ed

  • Member since
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  • From: Nanaimo BC Canada
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Friday, March 16, 2007 1:17 PM
 MP173 wrote:

 Anyone know about the tunnels further west on the B&O line.  I might go back in a couple of weeks on spring break.

Two of Indiana's 18 (past and present) railroad tunnels are on that line, flanking Mitchell.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=mitchell,+in&layer=&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=0&z=15&ll=38.768172,-86.302629&spn=0.008131,0.033045&iwloc=addr 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=mitchell,+in&layer=&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=0&z=15&ll=38.684706,-86.723113&spn=0.00814,0.033045

Dale
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Posted by MP173 on Friday, March 16, 2007 2:55 PM

Dale:

Thanks for the links...

Sure seems like an interesting line.  I followed it a bit back inthe 70's when going to school, but never really got off of the main road to explore.

On the INDOT map, the line looks straight.  I followed it on Google from Medora to Shoals and it is anything but straight.

ed

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 185 posts
Posted by G Mack on Friday, March 16, 2007 3:43 PM

Hello,

Gabe's mentioning of the Madison Railroad reminded me of a trip I took to the area last summer. I went north of Madison to the former Jefferson Proving Ground. This is where the military used to do weapons testing on items such as artillery and small arms. The base headquarters and entrance is on the south end and is now inactive, you can drive onto the base.

This facility was rail served and the Madison Railroad has what appears to be an engine shed and offices there. There is also a yard on the base. What was interesting was that all the tracks were full of tank cars, I mean they were everywhere, in the yard, on side tracks and parked on spurs out into the woods. Kind of spooky in a way. I suppose they are in storage as I didn't see a car repair shop.

The base still has all of the original buildings and while most are locked, some of them you can go into and see where they stored ammunition and set up weapons tests. I think the last shot was made there sometime in the mid-eighties. The range to the north of the firing line is fenced off and is supposed to have a tremendous amount of unexploded ordnance including depleted uranium warheads.

If any of you guys get down that way and have some time to explore, I recommend going out and taking a drive around the place.

G Mack

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Posted by mbkcs on Saturday, March 17, 2007 1:11 AM
 MP173 wrote:

I will run around North Vernon a bit...hopefully the old B&O signals are around.

ed

The signals were there as late as 2000. I even took pictures of them, my first rail pictures. 

Tina

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  • From: Valparaiso, In
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Posted by MP173 on Sunday, March 18, 2007 8:08 AM

Pretty interesting town.  The old B&O depot is still standing and is in use by the signal dept.  The Madison line has a rebuilt geep at the north side of town at a plastics company.  Quite a few covered hoppers (plastic pellets) on the line.  Havent seen any trains on the CSX, but the tournament hasnt given me any time to speak of to railfan.  I did stop by the depot yesterday evening.

There is a semaphore signal guarding the Madison line.  The B&O cpl signals are still standing, dont know if they are in use as they were dark.

Very interesting town.

ed

  • Member since
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  • From: Aurora, IL
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Posted by eolafan on Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:59 AM

 Poppa_Zit wrote:
Speaking of steep grades, does anyone know the grade where the Chicago Blue Line El ascends from ground level on the Eisenhower Expressway to get to 54th & Cermak? 

Say PZ, by chance do you know how steep the grade is coming out of Hill yard and the Aurora Transportation Center Metra tracks onto the BNSF main line at Eola?  When sitting and watching from where I saw you the other day on McClure Road it sure seems like the Metra trains are climbing quite a grade to get out of Hill yard.  Just wondering.

Eolafan (a.k.a. Jim)

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