Indiana Interstate RR

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Indiana Interstate RR

Post by Notch8 » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:25 am

I was looking at an Elkhart road map and for some reason the Insiana Interstate railroad was still being shown, this RR has been gone for some time anyone on list have any info on what this RR was about, who was the operator, what did they have for trackage ? 80 # ? did this line end at Shipshewana or did it go to Sturgis and did this line go past Sturgis, What did II have for power ALCO ? what was on this line for traffic ? and what was the dimise of this line.
Is there any remenants of this line left today ?
Any info would be greatly appreciated

Gary Berkey
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Goshen, IN.

Indiana Interstate Railroad

Post by Gary Berkey » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:47 pm

The Indiana Interstate Railroad was operated in 1979 and 1980 by R.Powell Felix, who now is the designated operator of today's Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad, based in Lacrosse, IN. The rail line did go all the way from Battle Creek, MI. to Goshen, IN. where it connects with today's NS Chicago Line. New York Central abandoned the line from Sturgis, MI. to Shipshewana, IN. in 1960. From Sturgis to Battle Creek, it was also taken out, don't know when. Not sure about rail weight, it could've been as light as 75 lbs. to 90 lbs. A Trackmobile was used initially for motive power, don't know what came later. Major customers were a fertilizer plant, lumber yard and a grain elevator, these in Shipshewana. A small factory and lumber yard in Middlebury, IN., used some rail business. Locally, this railroad was known as the "Pumpkinvine" because of its many curves and only short stretches of tangent mainline. A steam-tourist operation occured during the summer and fall of 1980 between Middlebury and Shipshewana and back. Don't know how frequent service was, probably on an "as needed" basis. Penn Central Corp., which still owned the track and right-of-way, wouldn't sell the rail line to an interested group of rail enthusiasts based in Elkhart, IN. claiming they couldn't come close to their price for the line. The IRR abandoned the entire 17-mile line in December 1980; the trackage was taken up during 1981. The only remnant of trackage left is in Goshen very near the Chicago Line, with a bit of the old mainline crossing Logan St. as an industrial spur for Brunk Corp.Another new spur has been added along the old main, crossing the same street, these spurs holding numerous covered hoppers of plastic pellets.

Joe G.

Post by Joe G. » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:50 pm

Back in 1979 I took a photo of their locomotive at the Shipshewana engine house.It was either a S-1 or S-3 painted in green,trimmed in yellow.


Indiana Interstate's ALCO

Post by bando1473 » Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:23 pm

They used ex Long Island Alco S1 #419. It was painted green with a yellow roof and handrails. Last I heard it was working a mill in Upper Sandusky Ohio and was painted light blue.

Al Corwin

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