Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (NICTD)


A Brief History

(Based on reading South Shore: America's Last Interurban by William Middleton - © 1970, out of print and the second revised edition © 1999, also out of print.)
(Recent history based on the "history" page no longer available on NICTD's site, personal experience, and other sources.)
1901
December 2nd - The Chicago & Indiana Air Line Railway is incorporated.
1903
September - C&IALR begins street car service between East Chicago and Indiana Harbor. (3.4 mi route)
1904
Corporate name changed to Chicago, Lake Shore & South Bend Railway. Plans made for a railway that will run between Chicago and South Bend, part of a huge network of streetcar and electric railway companies stretching between Chicago and New York.
CLS&SB Design Features
  • Planned like a Steam Line - for wide cars, not wrapped around courthouses.
  • 75 MPH Route - 66' or wider Right-of-Way - 17'6" Overhead Clearance
  • 2% Maximum grade (one location) - Generally 0.2% grade
  • 3 curves outside of cities (one 6 curve)
  • 70# rails on 8' ties, 24" centers
  • 80# rail in city streets
  • Single Track - with frequent passing sidings

    Three Major Stations

  • South Bend - Main Street (Wye at Colfax, Yard on LaSalle on east bank of St Joe)
  • Michigan City - 11th Street
  • Gary - Broadway (with car floor level platforms)

    AC Power System

  • Railway operated power plant in Michigan City
  • Calumet (East Chicago) Substation - 31 mi west
  • Terre Coupe (New Carlisle) Substation - 22 mi east
  • Single Phase AC Power - 700v in cities (fed by 8 additional substations), 6600v elsewhere.
  • 1906
    Construction begins.
    1907
    June 8th - Special run from South Bend to Hudson Lake, then by other rail to Chicago to show South Bend officials and press the progress on the railway works.
    1908
    June 30th - First train from Michigan City to South Bend departs at 10:30am and arrives at 1:35pm with some difficulty - return trip takes 1hr 15min. (1998 trip is 45min.)
    July 1st - Revenue service between South Bend and Michigan City begins at 6:00am. Trains run every two hours and cost 65 one way, $1 round trip.
    September 8th - Regular service between South Bend and Hammond - 10 trains daily each way.
    [Chicago, South Bend, & Northern Indiana Railway also begins service this year. They serve a route connecting Michigan City, LaPorte, Hudson Lake, South Bend, Elkhart and Goshen. Part of their route (South Bend Bendix to Hudson Lake) paralleled CLS&SB, running just north of the CLS&SB line.]
    1909
    April 4th - Through trains to Pullman, IL (111th St) over track built by Illinois Central and leased to CLS&SB - Hammond to Kensington section built by IC owned Kensington & Eastern Railroad. Passengers use bridges to cross over IC tracks to the IC suburban lines (now Metra Electric Line).
    April 12th - An accident at Clark injures 47 when a train fails to wait for a meet.
    June 19th - An accident at Shadyside kills 12 and injures 52 when another train fails to wait for a meet at Wilson.
    October - Management turned over to Warren Bicknell Company of Cleveland.
    1910
    Late October - Double track of Gary to Hammond section completed. 54 daily trains.
    1911
    December - Double track of Hammond to Kensington section completed.
    Kensington Interlocking built allowing direct connection to IC passenger lines.
    1912
    June 2nd - Through running of coaches between Gary and IC Chicago. 7 trains each direction with steam engines taking the cars to Randolph Street Station. 31mi Gary to Randolph St takes 1hr 15min including 5 min to attach/detach engine. (1998 trip is 56min.)
    1913
    Semaphore signaling system completed.
    South Bend to Michigan City - 34mi, 57min with three stops and power changes!
    1916
    August 1st - Carload freight service begins.
    1918
    47 trains daily.
    1922
    35 trains daily.
    1923
    Samuel Insull starts NIPSCO and Commonwealth Edison - Electric companies.
    1924
    Samuel Insull sends Britton Budd to survey Northern Indiana electric railways, including the CLS&SB and the CSB&NI.
    Cleveland Trust Company forecloses on their loan and takes possession.

    Samuel Insull Era

    1925
    February 28th - CLS&SB enters receivership.
    June 23rd - Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad incorporated (a Samuel Insull company).
    June 29th - CSS&SB buys CLS&SB for $6,474,843.
    October - Entire line rebuilt. 100# rail on K&E segment.
    New South Bend Station at LaSalle and Michigan.
    Preliminary work on changeover to DC power. Eight new substations built at Hammond, Gary, Ogden Dunes, Tremont, Michigan City, Tee Lake, New Carlisle, and South Bend. Five were 1500kw capacity, three were 750kw. (1998 power supplied by nine 2000kw substations and one 4000kw substation.)
    1.5 million passengers.
    1926
    July 13th - South Bend to Michigan City changed to DC power. Michigan City to Gary changed over one week later.
    July 28th - Entire line on DC power - 1500v to match electrification of IC line.
    Service ends on the local line between East Chicago and Indiana Harbor.
    August 29th - First through electric train from South Bend to Chicago! CSS&SB running 56 trains daily including 21 limited trains.
    1927
    February 20th - Dining and Parlor Car service started. Three Diners and two Parlor car trips each way per day. Total of 70 trains including 40 limited.
    May 21st - Gala opening for Michigan City 11th St Station and bus garage.
    Spring - South Bend to Chicago takes 2hr 30min, or 2hr 10min for limiteds. (1998 trip is 2hr 20min.)
    30 miles of track have been upgraded to 100# rail over two years.
    New Union Switch & Signal Company color light block signal system installed.
    Wilson Siding lengthened to 2.5 miles, 3300ft of double track added east of Gary's station.
    Tamarack Siding at 4200ft and others have 60mph spring switches installed.
    1928
    South Bend Station enlarged to more than three times former size.
    New freight stations completed on LaSalle Ave in South Bend and in Hegewisch.
    81 trains daily - Hourly service South Bend to Chicago, 30min service Gary to Chicago.
    3.25 million passengers.
    1929
    3.2 million passengers.
    1930
    South Bend to Chicago in 1hr 58min on fastest train.
    1931
    2.2 million passengers.
    New South Bend freight terminal completed on 16 acres a mile west of downtown, removing freight trains from city streets and starting a new industrial park.
    1932
    1.5 million passengers, but 80 trains daily including 11 Dining/Parlor car trips.
    Spring - Dining and Parlor Car service halted.
    1933
    South Bend to Chicago in 1hr 50min. (1998 trip is 2hr 20min, and avoids street running in South Bend and East Chicago.)
    September 30th - CSS&SB enters bankruptcy.
    1934
    [May 30th - CSB&NI, now called 'Northern Indiana Railway' ceases business as an interurban. Trolley car routes in South Bend/Mishawaka replaced by buses.]
    1939
    August - Jay Samuel Hartt elected president of the railroad. He served 21 years.
    1941
    2.25 million passengers.
    1942
    CSS&SB begins to lengthen cars, increasing capacity (24 to 30 seats more) and reducing cost per passenger mile.
    1945
    6 million passengers.
    1946
    CSS&SB begins to install air conditioning and lengthened "picture" windows.
    Late 40's
    Complete system-wide VHF radio installation installed.
    1951
    So far 36 cars lengthened, 18 cars fully modernized.
    1952
    Moveable bridge over the Calumet River raised six feet and made immoveable.
    1954
    Construction begins on East Chicago bypass, including a new substation at Parrish Ave. 115# welded rail, maximum curvature 2.5, for 60mph trains. The new route connects to the old at Cline Ave and Columbia Ave.
    1955
    4.44 million passengers.
    1956
    September 16th - East Chicago bypass route (5mi) removes trains from street running on Chicago Street in East Chicago. (Originally planned for completion in 1928 - construction completed with the aid of the Indiana Toll Road Commission.)
    Indiana Toll Road completed.
    1961
    William P. Coliton takes over as president of CSS&SB, serving until 1966.
    Midwest Steel opens.
    1962
    Bailly Generating plant constructed.
    Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago completed.
    1964
    Bethlehem Steel opens Burns Harbor plant.
    Former moveable bridge over the Calumet River replaced by new span 50 feet south of old alignment.
    1965
    3.135 million passengers. 85% of the business is Gary to Chicago.
    1966
    James McCahey, Jr. takes over as president of CSS&SB.
    State of Indiana begins building deep water harbor "Port of Indiana".

    Chesapeake & Ohio Era

    1967
    January 3 - Chesapeake & Ohio purchases CSS&SB.
    The South Shore has 64 passenger cars.
    1970
    South Bend Station moved to western edge of city, abandoning street running. The only remaining street running is in Michigan City.
    1971
    May 1st - Amtrak takes over intercity passenger service nationwide. The CSS&SB opts out.
    1972
    ...
    1973
    ...
    1974
    The State of Illinois creates the RTA to keep commuter rail running in the Chicago area. (Metra)
    1975
    ...
    1976
    April 1st - Conrail takes over operation Valparaiso locals in merger of Penn Central.
    (Chicago-Englewood-Whiting-Gary-Hobart-Wheeler-Valparaiso and other stops between. Penn Central or a related company had operated this service since August 30th, 1869. This service was handed over to Amtrak in 1979 and discontinued in 1991.)

    Support of Passenger Service via NICTD
    1977
    IC's Electric service extended to University Park. (Metra)
    Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) established by the Indiana General Assembly for the purpose of receiving government money to own new passenger cars and support services as well as manage and market the service. (NICTD)
    1.5 million passengers. (NICTD)
    1978
    ...
    1979
    Federal grants awarded to NICTD for new cars and for the upgrade of track and the power system. (NICTD)
    Amtrak assumes operation of Valparaiso local services (via Conrail/former Penn Central line).
    1980
    ...
    1981
    ...
    1982
    November - First new passenger train enters revenue service. (NICTD)
    1983
    Chicago's RTA adds substations in Hegewisch and at Monroe St in Chicago to handle the needs of new cars.
    Fall - New passenger cars completely replace the orange and maroon South Shore standard. (NICTD)
    The South Shore has 44 passenger cars, all motor units. 10 are owned by RTA, who also operate the former IC Electric Line in Chicago (and other Chicago area lines).
    1984
    Chicago's RTA adopts the name Metra as a way to unify their rail services. (Metra)
    1985
    January 21st - Two trains collide head on just west of Gary's Metro Center station injuring 87 people.
    Gary Metro Center replaces Broadway Street Station. (NICTD)
    The new station has a raised railbed, but low loading platforms.
    Randolph Street Station in Chicago completely rebuilt. (NICTD)
    Dune Park Station complex built. (NICTD)
    Dune Park is the home for NICTD headquarters, a waiting area for trains and the main transit police station (since moved to East Chicago).
    1986
    Metra rebuilds the Hegewisch Station and nearby electrical substation (damaged in a lightning strike).
    1987
    Metra purchases the Illinois Central Gulf electric service for $26 million. (Metra)
    1988
    ...
    1989
    Diesel double decker train set leased from METRA to handle overflow (kept until 1993). (NICTD)
    CSS&SB bankrupt. NICTD works with Anacostia and Pacific railroad to purchase CSS&SB's assets. The freight railroad retains the name CSS&SB while NICTD now owns the passenger railroad assets. (NICTD)
    3.5 million passengers. (NICTD)

    NICTD Era

    1990
    NICTD purchases the main line track. (NICTD)
    ADA inspired changes begun at 'key' stations. (NICTD)
    1991
    January - I see my first South Shore train, a single car unit being pushed by a South Shore diesel through a light dusting of snow at Lydick. (Some things are meant to be seen and not photographed.) Evidently there were some problems on the line as the South Shore does not normally use diesel power.
    May 3rd - Last Amtrak run of "Calumet" train and all Valparaiso local service.
    (The State of Indiana declined to pay NICTD $1.5 million to continue service. Amtrak wanted $2.5 million to maintain service. The track is now abandoned and partially removed north of Tolleston. The remaining track is owned by CSX and operated by the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern. This track is targeted to be used for high speed rail Chicago to Toledo via Fort Wayne.)
    Weekend "memory" schedule introduced with trains every two hours easy to remember.
    1992
    June - New Station building and additional parking added at Hegewisch. (NICTD)
    November - South Bend Station moved to the South Bend Airport (then called the Michiana Regional Transportation Center). (NICTD)
    Several flag stops are closed, including New Carlisle, Rolling Prairie, Lalumiere, Willard St, Kemil Road, and Dune Acres.
    Fall - Delivery of four additional motor units and ten trailers. (NICTD) Three cars destroyed in accidents were also replaced.
    Note that new cars do not have the CSS&SB name on them. (NICTD is no longer purchasing cars to be used on another company's railroad, their cars run on their own railroad.)
    NICTD has 58 passenger cars, 48 motor units and 10 trailers.
    42 trains daily, 20 on weekends.
    1993
    January 18th - Seven are killed and 95 injured in an accident on the west approach to the gauntlet bridge on the west side of Gary Indiana.
    1994
    New general office building in Michigan City (at Carroll Ave Station).
    1995
    Station re-construction begins in Hammond. Plans set for improvements at other stations (Miller, Dune Park, Ogden Dunes, and East Chicago). (NICTD)
    1996
    Rail car shop facilities in Michigan City expanded. (NICTD)
    Conversion to all-weld rail (begun in the 1960's) is completed. (NICTD)
    Chicago SouthShore & South Bend Railroad purchases K&E (6.2 miles double track) from Illinois Central. (Federal Register)
    1997
    The gauntlet bridge west of Gary has another bridge built next to it, providing complete double track service from Gary to Chicago.
    3.384 million passengers - 24c per passenger mile. 56 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $21.7 million in operating and $8.1 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    1998
    June 18th - Three are killed in an accident at the private Midwest Steel crossing near Portage.
    Hammond and Ogden Dunes station upgrade completed with high level platforms at Hammond and special loading ramps at Ogden Dunes.
    New shelter and parking at Miller. Beverly Shores station renovated.
    Signaling system upgrades begin.
    3.369 million passengers - 25c per passenger mile. 56 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $22.9 million in operating and $9.7 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    1999
    3.485 million passengers - 25c per passenger mile. 56 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $23.9 million in operating and $26.2 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2000
    3.611 million passengers - 28c per passenger mile. 56 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $28.5 million in operating and $29.2 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2001
    Delivery of ten additional motor units. Three cars destroyed in accidents were also replaced.
    Note that new cars are single cab units to cut cost with no restrooms to add seating space.
    NICTD has 68 passenger cars, 48 motor units, 10 single cab motor units and 10 trailers.
    Connection of Wilson and Wagner passing sidings completed to create a 6.5 mile double track segment.
    3.771 million passengers - 28c per passenger mile. 62 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $29.6 million in operating and $22.5 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2002
    3.590 million passengers - 29c per passenger mile. 68 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $28.3 million in operating and $32.7 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2003
    3.573 million passengers - 30c per passenger mile. 66 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $29.6 million in operating and $33.9 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2004
    3.544 million passengers - 32c per passenger mile. 66 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $31.2 million in operating and $36.7 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2005
    New station with high level platforms in East Chicago opened.
    NICTD contracts for 14 additional motor units (to be delivered in 2008).
    3.802 million passengers - 29c per passenger mile. 68 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $32.6 million in operating and $29.7 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2006
    June 1st - NICTD fare increase ... 2% per year for two years.
    December 11th - High level platforms open at Hegewisch. (NICTD)
    4.208 million passengers - 28c per passenger mile. 68 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $34.6 million in operating and $28.9 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    The most passengers since 1957. (NICTD)
    41 trains daily, 21 on weekends.
    2007
    January - Shelter at 11th St station in Michigan City replaced with one that is 75% larger. (NICTD)
    130 camera closed circuit video monitoring system for stations, platforms and parking lots installed. (NICTD)
    Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) in place from Kensington to Michigan City. (NICTD)
    4.245 million passengers - 30c per passenger mile. 68 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $38.6 million in operating and $49.9 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2008
    DVR systems installed in all 68 passenger cars (4 cameras per car) funded by the Department of Homeland Security. (NICTD)
    Carroll Ave (Shops) platform extended 105ft to allow six door unloading instead of four. (NICTD)
    Catenary "Phase 1" Kensington to Gary completed. (NICTD)
    Delivery begins of 14 additional motor units (cost $3,398,000 per car). The new cars are gallery style bi-levels similar to METRA's newest cars. The new cars have "walkover" seating that can be changed to face either direction. They have single cabs on the upper level.
    Overall ridership declined 1.5% but weekend/holiday ridership increased 5.1% and South Bend ridership increased 6.4%. (METRA Electric ridership was down 4.3%.) (NICTD)
    4.180 million passengers - 33c per passenger mile. 68 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $41.0 million in operating and $34.5 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2009
    March 30th - 300 series gallery cars enter revenue service. (NICTD)
    NICTD has 82 passenger cars, 48 motor units, 10 single cab motor units, 10 trailers and 14 gallery cars.
    Agreement announced with METRA and Canadian National railroads for a second interlocking track at Kensington. (NICTD)
    May 27th - Weekday schedule change adding express South Bend trains takes effect.
    43 trains daily, 21 on weekends.
    October 19th-November 2nd - Six major projects completed in LaPorte county during a two week closure of the line between Michigan City and South Bend. Two single lane road bridges (rail over road) at CR 200 W and CR 300 W were replaced by wider bridges with higher clearances. The bridge over the Galena River was replaced and the bridge over the former Pere Marquette line (near SR39) was removed and the track grade lowered three feet. Sidings at Birchim and Olive were rebuilt in preparation for CTC upgrades.
    Catenary "Phase 2" Gary to Michigan City started as a three year $18 million project. The line is shut down east of Gary for five weekends between August and November for the replacement of catenary between Gary (Emerson, CP 58.1) and Wagner (CP 54.0). 5.5 miles of catenary was installed along with 4.0 miles of feeder cable.
    November 22nd - New weekend schedule. The new schedule adds a morning express from South Bend to Chicago at 10:17am as well as providing a late night return trip departing Chicago at 11:15pm instead of the last South Bend train leaving at 8:00pm but reduces the number of trains serving the entire route between South Bend and Chicago from 15 to 11. NICTD is hoping to make the remaining trips fit the needs of passengers better than the every two hour "memory" schedule.
    3.9 million passengers (down 7.1%). (NICTD)
    3.885 million passengers - 36c per passenger mile. 75 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $41.7 million in operating and $29.1 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2010
    February 1st - Metra raises fares, affecting fare from Hegewisch to Chicago.
    March - Cash-less ticket vending machines that take only credit cards installed at Hegewisch, Hammond, East Chicago, Gary Metro Center, Dune Park, Carroll Ave and South Bend. (Millennium Station and Van Buren installed later in the year.)
    Catenary "Phase 2" Gary to Michigan City continues. The line is shut down east of Gary for six weekends between May and November for the replacement of catenary between Wagner (CP 54.0) and Furnessville (MP 41.8). 19.3 track miles were completed (including approximately 6.5 miles of double track).
    June 1st - NICTD raises fares ... 2% per year for two years. (First increase since 2007.) Train 11 becomes a peak train.
    September 5th - NICTD combines eastbound trains 11 and 211 and westbound trains 14 and 114 due to lower ridership.
    41 trains daily, 21 on weekends.
    October 22nd-24th - Hobart Rd Bridge replaced in Miller.
    Additional Construction - Kensington bypass project began with preliminary work on new catenary system and signaling. CTC signal and crossing signal replacement underway between Michigan City and South Bend.
    3.7 million passengers (down 4.4%). (NICTD)
    3.714 million passengers - 38c per passenger mile. 82 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $41.6 million in operating and $31.3 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
    2011
    March - "Michigan City Alternative Realignment Study" project awarded to TranSystems Corp of Chicago. Expected completion of the study is April 2012. The first public open house was held in September.
    May - Platform at Carroll Ave replaced. Platform replacement at Gary Metro Center completed in September.
    Catenary "Phase 2" Gary to Michigan City completes. The line was shut down east of Dune Park on seven weekends between April and August for the replacement of catenary between Furnessville (MP 41.8) and Roeske Ave in Michigan City (MP 32.2). 10.4 miles were completed. Eleven weekend shut downs were initially planned but the crew finished the work in seven weekends.
    Additional Construction - Kensington bypass project trackwork and catenary completed across CN-IC. New CP-75.3 under construction.
    December 8th - CTC project between Michigan City and South Bend (Grandview) completed.
    3.7 million passengers (down 0.2% or 7,680 passengers). (NICTD)
    3.706 million passengers - 37c per passenger mile. 82 vehicles in fleet. (National Transit Database)
    $41.4 million in operating and $24.4 million in capital expenses. (National Transit Database)
     
    2012
    January 23rd - Signaling completed at Kensington Interlocking.
    Kensington bypass project completed.
    February 1st - Metra raises fares, affecting fare from Hegewisch to Chicago.
    February 2nd - Platform signs replaced at Millennium Station at Randolph St.
    February 15th - NICTD raises fares ... 5% (following 2% increases in 2010 and 2011).
    Trains no longer stop at 115th St / Kensington Station (ending service provided since 1909).
    June 2nd - 100th Anniversary of direct through service to downtown Chicago (steam pulled on IC).
    October 25th - New bridge over Torrence Ave and NS opens in Hegewisch (Westbound opens Nov 8th).
     
    2013
    June 13th - "Michigan City Alternative Realignment Study" announces result to city council. 11th St is the preferred route.
    September - Trail Creek bridge replaced in Michigan City.
    November 13th - High level platform completed at Dune Park (construction begain April 29th).
     
    Future Plans
    Catenary "Phase 3" Michigan City to South Bend. 32.2 route miles (27.8 to proposed airport reroute).
    Ogden Dunes High Level Platform
    South Bend Airport Reroute (replacing 4.4 miles of slow track). ($15 million)
    Gary Station Replacement ($35 million)
    Michigan City Reroute (replacing 2.1 miles of street running track). ($180 million)
    2019 - Planned replacement of 41 "1982" cars
    2023? - West Lake Line serving Dyer ($571 million)
    2029 - Planned replacement of 17 "1992" cars

    Power Substations

    Power is fed from 10 substations, Hegewisch (1980's), Hammond (Columbia - 1926), East Chicago (Carroll - 1956), Gary (Madison - 1926), Ogden Dunes (Wickliffe - 1926), Tremont (Furnessville - 1926), Michigan City (Eastport - 1926), Tee Lake (1926), New Carlisle (1926), and South Bend (Grandview - 1926).

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