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Hoosier Railroad Ghosts

Finding the reflections of what once was in what is.


  Old Big Four Chicago Line
 
Location: The photos below were taken from the Cold Spring Rd bridge over Crooked Creek, just north of Marian College, just south of Major Taylor Velodrome.
 

History: I don't have full details at the moment, but the gist is that the Big Four relocated their Indianapolis-Chicago mainline in the 1900s. The original line turned northwest from Union Station just west of Kentucky Ave., parallelled the canal, crossed Fall Creek at about 22nd St., the White River about 30th St., and meandered up to about 59th St. where the relocated line turned south. The section from 29th to 59th St., including the White River bridge, was abandoned at that time. Over the past 100 years, a golf course, subdivisions, I-65, and Crooked Creek have erased almost all traces of the grade. Interestingly, one subdivision that was platted in the 1920s on top of the grade wasn't actually built until 2000. The line south of 29th St. remained intact until the late 1970s, and now extends only to the treatment plant at 16th St. The remaining trackage is best seen from Burdsal Blvd.

  What's left: Of the route abandoned in the 1900s, I could find only one piece, which is now an access road to Marian College's baseball fields.
  Map: Coming when I can get to it.
 

Photos: Taken late afternoon, 11/23/02

 
Looking northwest toward Marian's baseball fields. The road follows the old railroad grade. The grade parallelled Crooked Creek in this area. Another view of the access road/grade. Looking the opposite direction of the previous photos. A golf course has obliterated the old grade.