• Bypassing downtown Terre Haute (or other downtowns)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by Arborwayfan
 
For a while I've wondered whether it would make sense for the City of Terre Haute to try to convince CSX to get trackage rights over the Soo Line belt line to the east of TH, and use that route for North-South trains that don't need to stop at any TH yards. Since INDR mostly belongs to CSX, I wonder if this kind of arrangement might be more possible. Would CSX gain anything by running its through North-South trains around to the East of Terre Haute?
In most ways the belt would be safer, because it has many fewer grade crossings, and crosses Rte. 40/Wabash Ave., the busiest East-West street in Terre Haute, on a bridge. The main practical problem is that it also crosses the front of Deming Park, a major city park. The entrance and exit are busy, but they are separated by a stone wall such that you can't go around the crossing gates. People don't seem to walk across the tracks much except at the entrace grade crossings -- and they shouldn't. I wonder if having more trains on that line would increase the danger by giving more chances to get hit or reduce it by making the line seem more active and therefore more dangerous. Another practical problem might be that the change would make the belt line busier and somewhat more dangerous without making the downtown line much safer.
I don't know if they city would be interested. It's just my daydreaming about how to make the city a little safer and a little nicer without major new construction. (Upgrading the belt line wouldn't take anyone's house, close any streets, or look much different afterwards than it does now.) The main political problem would be that the belt line goes through a more expensive part of town than the CSX North-South main. TH city gov't is supposedly looking to buy the CSX line that runs in a reservation in the middle of first street from the Wabash bridges to Graham Grain, to put a new drain under it, so this isn't a completely wacky idea.
Does this sound like a good or bad idea to anyone? Has any other city done anything similar, other than when Lafayette got the tracks out of its downtown streets?

  by Arborwayfan
 
OK. So the day after I posted this, the mayor of Terre Haute announced that his major new initiative is to try to move "the railroads" out beyond "the city limits", which he says will make the city safer, allow ISU to grow, and give the RRs faster routes b/c fewer crossings. Here's the story:

http://www.tribstar.com/local/local_sto ... d=topstory

He doesn't say exactly where he plans to have them move to, or how far out. He doesn't say what he wants to do with the ROWs. He does say something about the railroads doing good work, but he doesn't say whether he wants to leave the tracks needed to get to all the rail customers. This is especially important because if the INDRR purchase of the Latta Sub goes through, the INDRR says it hopes to give a lot more service to the paper mill.

Interesting plan.

  by CIOR
 
The city of Muncie has been wrestling with this idea for about 10 years now. The issue Muncie has is rail lines coming in from all the different directions.
The major issue is downtown. Currently CSX/Conrail doesn't serve a single customer in the city limits. They still own the north portion of the belt, but indiana bridge hasn't shipped anything in a few years.
NS however has a few industries and a yard to deal with.

The funny thing is the actual issue that has been most talked about "HORNS"
but the city won't budge on closing a few crossings. There was even talk of building 3 overpasses and closing half the crossings. The city won't budge because its a money deal.
The biggest issue inside the horn parade is the hotel/convention business the city has gotten over the past decade of rebirth. The city of Muncie has made major strides to bring back downtown, but they don't seem to want to spend money on the railroad problem.

In todays age of NIMBY I would seriously doubt new right of ways could be built over larger land grabs. Unless the feds step in that is.