Bluffton depot and crossing

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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caylorman
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Bluffton depot and crossing

Post by caylorman » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:09 pm

All,
Trying to learn more about the NKP in Bluffton while the depot was still around. Where exactly was it in town? Was it near the crossing? When was it torn down? How about the target signal in town, where was it located & when was it removed?

Thanks,
E.J.

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rrnut282
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Post by rrnut282 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:19 am

I asked a friend and this is what he had to say:

The Cloverleaf depot was located at 822 West Washington St. The parking lot of Kelly's Collision Center occupies a portion of the former station site. Preservation efforts to save the depot were underway when NS out of the blue demolished it on Jan. 24-25, 1991. The target signal guarding the crossing of the two railroads was located on the right side of the Cloverleaf tracks in the northeast quadrant. It was removed—I believe—in 1984, about a year after the Cloverleaf was reconfigured to divert off onto the NKP. Although most of the Cloverleaf right-of-way through town has been removed, a portion of it can still be seen along the west side fence of Loren's Collision service tow lot. Now, as to the original Nickel Plate Depot, I believe that was located in the 700 block of West Washington St. across from the freight depot and south of Cline Lumber, but don't hold me to that. The freight depot was demolished sometime in the 1980's.
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Post by caylorman » Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:51 pm

Mike,
Where exactly did the Clover Leaf cross the New Castle District? I'm guessing from your description and looking at Google Earth, that it curved up to and paralleled the NCD for a ways and then crossed over near where it pulls off of the NCD at the north end. Is this even close to being correct?

Also, according to my Muncie Division ETT from 1973, Bluffton is still listed as an open telegraph station for both the New Castle and Marion Districts. My question is, which depot was used?

Thanks,
E.J.

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Post by Wayne Gest » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:00 pm

If you're at all familiar with Bluffton, the diamond was located between Oak and Hale Street. If you go to the Handispot convenience store at the corner of Oak and Lancaster Streets, you can get a good look at this spot.

http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&oe ... &tab=wl&q=

The Cloverleaf depot was used for the depot in Bluffton, haven't any idea when the LE&W depot was torn down but the LE&W freight house stood until the late spring of 1985. It was a two story wooden structure.

The target signal was removed when the New Castle District traffic control was installed. That would have been about October, 1983, also when the diamond would have been removed and part of the Cloverleaf main removed to the present day configuration.

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Post by caylorman » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:05 pm

Took a little tour of Bluffton this afternoon in the "snow storm" Took a glance at the former location of the diamond and target signal off of Oak St., not much left from the realignment, though you can tell where the track was in the road from the patch.

Was surprised to find a maintainer's shack located just south of W. Cherry St. Also noticed a foundation about 20 or so feet south of the maintainer's shack on the west side of the tracks. Any idea what this might have been? It seems to be too far south from previous discession to be the CL Depot.

Also, would anybody have a track diagram of the yard? Lake Division #3 from '94, it lists interchange between NS & IHRC taking place on Old Clover Leaf Main, & Clover Leaf Storage. I'm assuming it's the first 3 tracks west of the NCD main. Did not find the bill box as is advertised in the ETT as being at the west end of the Transfer Track.

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Post by Ibflattop » Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:11 am

I railfan and model railroad with a guy whos father was a clerk at Bluffton and also worked as a flagman for a couple of summers at Bluffton. He always tells us about the time he was flagging on day. He was in the flag shack reading a book. He looked out both ways to check to see if the train was coming yet. Went back to reading, and bam the crew snuck up and blew the horn and scared the C*** out of him! THe crew tied down the engine and went over to grab a bite to eat at the diner down the road!
Ya got to know Ron. He is a crack. Kevin
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Post by Wayne Gest » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:43 am

In the Yahoo NCIR group, there are now two photos posted of the Bluffton depots. In the picture of the LE&W depot, in the background is a building that I believe is the freighthouse that I mistakenly called a two story structure. I believe this is the building that was demolished in 1985.

Anyone have any idea when the LE&W depot was torn down and all operations moved to the Cloverleaf depot?

All the pictures I've seen of the LE&W depots that were on the line between Fort Wayne and Muncie all share the characteristic of not having a bay window. This would also be true of the depot still standing in New Castle, the assumption being that these were all built by the predecessor road, which was the Fort Wayne, Muncie, and Cincinnati (I think).

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Post by Ibflattop » Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:15 pm

Caylorman.
The Maintainers shack that you found was it located close to the Wabash Central caboose? Was it a brick building? This building that is by the Wabash Central caboose, was it a Railroad building at one time? Kevin
Move west!!!!!!!
"Slack on the Pin!!!!!!"
"CIOR Engineer "takin up both mains and a siding" and not called E.O.T., called " Running on Markers" !!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by rrnut282 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:13 pm

The metal-sided maintainer's shack is next to the NCD mainline on the west side near Cherry or South Street. Currently it has several used signal poles with heads laying to the south of the building. Interestingly, one is the new ladder-less ones put up in the last few years. (square post models with the winch in the base to lower the signal heads down)
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Post by Wayne Gest » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:22 pm

That foundation was for the carhouse, I believe, that once housed the motorcar.

The trailer showed up with the Indiana Hi-Rail and the Wabash Central caboose showed up later.

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Post by caylorman » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:48 pm

Hey guys,
Here some pics I took while exploring. How far from the depot was the carhouse? I'm assuming that it was with the CL depot.

First shot is looking south into the yard. The second is the maintainer's shack. The third is the foundation just to the south of the shack.

E.J.
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Foundation south of W. Cherry St.
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Post by KEITH_HARRIS » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:53 pm

EJ, THOSE PICTURES REMIND ME OF THE PENN-CENTRAL DAYS.



KEITH

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Post by Wayne Gest » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:31 pm

The foundation the signal masts are lying on is what I believe was once the carhouse. The gravel path in the background was the Cloverleaf main. This foundation is on the LE&W side, making it near the onetime site of the LE&W depot.

In the bottom picture, the fourth track over is the Cloverleaf main, the fifth track over is the Cloverleaf pass. The Cloverleaf main was taken out between here and the old diamond about October, 1983, as best as I can remember.

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Post by dbrackin7 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:59 am

Some of my family lives right next to those pictures. about 9 or 10 years ago they destroyed a large silo next to the tracks. About 100 feet north of cherry street. I have no pictures of it unfortunately, does anyone know what it was.

Up north behind almco steel, next to the river there are stilll signs of old trestle foundations. was this the interurban or was this nkp.

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Post by Wayne Gest » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:04 am

The bridge was the Chicago, Bluffton, and Cincinnati, that once ran from Huntington to Portland, IN, down through Petroleum, Pennville, etc. This road met its demise sometime around WWI, I think.

The interurban crossed the Wabash on a combination rail-highway bridge with Indiana Route One.

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