Auburn Vandalia & Interurban

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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cjberndt
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Auburn Vandalia & Interurban

Post by cjberndt » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:17 am

This photo is looking south at the intersection of Wayne, Ensley & Jackson Sts. in Auburn. The gondola and D&RG boxcar are on Eel River/Vandalia/PRR sidings east of Wayne St. The buildings are Auburn Automobile Co. The track at lower-left is the interurban in Ensley.

Craig
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Auburn Ensley & Wayne lk S c1920.jpg

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Notch 8
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Re: Auburn Vandalia & Interurban

Post by Notch 8 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:17 pm

What year would this be from ? Hard to imagine this existing and would have been interesting to have seen crews servicing this area.. Where would the crew be coming to switch Auburn, Butler ?

Thanks for posting

cjberndt
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Re: Auburn Vandalia & Interurban

Post by cjberndt » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:05 am

The history of Auburn Auto. Co. suggests a date of 1915-20, though it could be later. I asked a local historian if he has a better date, but I haven't heard from him yet.

PRR's Sept. 28, 1924, Ft. Wayne Div. ETT shows daily-except-Sunday freights originating at Columbia City (a.m.) and Butler (p.m.). Oddly, the a.m. train had scheduled stops at Auburn Jct., Cedar Jct. (interurban south of Garrett) and LaOtto, whereas the p.m. train had scheduled stops at Auburn (not Auburn Jct.), Cedar Jct. and LaOtto. All others were flag stops.

Butler was only a switching point with NYC and Wabash; nothing was served there. PRR apparently decided that switching at Butler was not needed, and the Auburn-Butler section was embargoed in the mid or late-1940s, after which all trains originated at LaOtto or Columbia City. A woman who lived next to the track in Butler told me that in the mid-1940s, a steam loco and one boxcar came to Butler weekly with parcel freight. No cars were interchanged or left overnight. She never saw a diesel on the line.

In a Jan. 1948 Roto article about the Butler Branch, the train originated at Columbia City and terminated at Auburn, not Butler. Butler was not in the schedule in a 1948 ETT. The summer that Keith Harris was a steam hosler in Columbia City (1951?), he said trains didn't go to Butler. Auburn-Butler was abandoned in 1954.

Craig

cjberndt
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Re: Auburn Vandalia & Interurban

Post by cjberndt » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:26 am

Auburn's historian thinks it is probably c1925.

The building at left is still standing, without it's second floor or hipped roof. It's south of the street dept. building on Ensley, and has a big Auburn logo on the front.

Craig

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