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Hoosier Railroad Ghosts

Finding the reflections of what once was in what is.


  Danville Interurban Bridge
 
Location: At the north end of Ellis Park, on the east side of town. From the US 36 (Main Street) entrance, follow the main road back to the Playscape playground; there are parking spaces next to it. The bridge remains are behind the playground along the creek. There is a footbridge across the creek a little ways to the north.
  History: The Indianapolis & Western completed the line to Danville in 1906; the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern took over the line soon after. The tracks followed what is now US 36. When the highway was made 4 lanes, it was widened on top of the grade from Avon east. A power substation, possibly also the Avon depot, was once located on the northwest corner of SR 267 and US 36. Along Old 36 (East Main St), the track paralleled the road on the north side. They separated where the road turned southwest, and the tracks northwest to go over the bridge and embankment into the north end of town. The route was abandoned by 1930 and never made part of the Indiana Railroad. The embankment was leveled sometime between 1946 and 1958. Playscape was finished in late 1998.

3/28/04: "Laura Elizabeth Rudie, of Danville, died of massive head and neck injuries after she fell from the concrete skeleton of an old interurban bridge just east of the Ellis Park playground beside White Lick Creek." Read pdf's of articles on her death. Indianapolis Star 1, 2, Westside Flyer.

4/5/04: Danville is dicussing demolishing the abutment.

  What's left: One complete abutment, the base of the other, and the east embankment. Possibly a felled line pole as well. The playground, while not "left," pays omage to the THI&E.
  Map: 2002 aerial (from Hendricks County); 1946 aerial showing route into Danville (from EACI).
 

Photos: Taken 9/30/02

The remaining east abutment from the creekbed Looking west toward the other abutment base The south side of the east abutment The face of the abutment. The creek has eroded away a good portion of the base Closeup--trees are growing through the cracks in the concrete.
The east abutment from the west side of the creek The base of the west abutment is barely visible as the light colored rectangle Looking west along the grade toward the bridge Looking east along what's left of the grade. The subdivision has filled in quite a bit of the grade cut. Where the high embankment went to the west, now leveled and part of Ellis Park.
   
This could be a 70 year old line pole. There are no visible markings on it, but it looks like it fell away from the tracks. Anybody have any ideas? Part of Playscape is built on top of where the embankment was. Some thoughtful person included a stylized version of an THI&E car. Another view of the car. Its location is almost exactly on top of where the tracks would have gone. 4/5/04: Photo of the memorial to Laura Rudie. (Cynthia Fugate/Hendricks County Flyer)