• New CSX-INRD connecting track a Terre Haute, Indiana

  • 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
 
CSX or INRD or both are building a new connection between their lines in Terre Haute, Indiana. In the mile or so to the south of I-70, on the south side of town, the two railroads' main lines cross each other on diamonds twice, once just south of Davis Rd. and once at Springhill Junction just south of Springhill Rd.
The new track connects the two railroads across the eastern quadrant of the more northern of the two crossings, the one just south of Davis Rd. As of last Sunday, the roadbed was graded, apparently read for ballast; what appeared to be a fairly high-speed turnout was laid out alongside the INRD ready for installation; new signals were up but turned to the side; and a CSX rail train was just heading back for town, maybe having dropped off rail for the connection.
It looks like the new connection would allow several changes in operations. First, INRD trains could use the new track, the more eastern of the two CSX tracks, and the existing CSX-INRD connection at Springhill to run in and out of Terre Haute without crossing either diamond and therefore without blocking the other track of the CSX main. Second, CSX trains bound from southern Indiana to Indianapolis via Terre Haute could bypass downtown Terre Haute via the INRD freight belt, which already has appropriate connections to the CSX ex-NYC line to Indy. Third, with another new connecting track at the appropriate diamond on the north side of town, CSX could use the INRD belt line for some of its trains bound from southern Indiana to Chicago, effectively giving CSX double track through Terre Haute (even though the INRD line is not is as good condition at the CSX main, it has many fewer grade crossings, and might relieve some of the north-south congestions that seems to tie up CSX trains and definitely has trains stopped across streets for a long time often.
These are just guesses. I don't actually know why they are building the new connection, or what agreements they have made about it.


The double crossing, which all trains on either road have to make to enter or leave Terre Haute, is a historical accident; the original main lines crossed at Springhill and were roughly parallel through downtown Terre Haute; the INRD's predecessor in the 1920s (MILW?) built a freight belt around the east side of Terre Haute, which left the main line north of Springhill and crossed CSX's predecessor a second time. Sometime later, the MILW or the SOO or the CP abandoned their main line through downtown Terre Haute and north to Chicago, making the freight belt the main line.