A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To Linden
February 4, 2006
The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes takes a back seat to chasing trains. Saturday, February 4, 2006 was supposed to be a trip down to Linden, Indiana to browse through the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society's Archives for information and track plans of Water Valley and Shelby for a possible article I was researching for the Hoosier Line. After passing through Francesville, I decided to stop at the Monon Connection Museum and eat breakfast. They have a great restaurant there and I highly recommend it.
While finishing my breakfast, I heard a train horn. It quickly looked around the restaurant and realized it was coming from outside. I looked up and noticed two GP-38-2's heading north on the former Monon Michigan City branch. I was shocked. In seven years of wandering up and down the former Monon, this was the first time I had seen activity on the line. I had seen spotted hopper cars before at Medaryville and Francesville, but never the local in operation. My trip to Linden was canceled and I quickly paid the check and headed back north. I met the northbound local at both Francesville and Medaryville and shot the pictures seen here. I had often wondered how they switched the hopper cars at Medaryville, well now I know because I watched the entire operation. Pretty neat.
Click on image.
Left: Northbound arriving at Francesville. Right: Passing the former depot location, which was accross the tracks from where I was standing.
Left: Approaching the County Road 300S Crossing. Right: Another shot at Co. Road 300S crossing.
Left: The locomotives moving north with a cut of hopper cars on the siding. Right: About to cross Prairie Street.
Left: After uncoupling hoppers down near the elevator, the locomotives pull the cut north. The reversed and spotted this cut on the siding south of the elevator. Right: After pulling a second cut of cars onto the siding, the locomotives crossed over to the main, north of Prairie Street then backed down the main (pictured) and around the second cut of cars.
Left: The locomotives backing down the main. Right: After moving a second cut of cars to the end of the main north of Pearl Street, the locomotives return south to move a thrid cut of cars. Pictured are the two locomotives crossing Main Street. The Schultz House is to the right side of the picture. I was standing near the old depot location.
Left: Southbound on the mainline passing the former depot location. Right: Moving a third cut of cars up the siding from the elevator. The locomotives have just crossed Ridge Street. They will leave this cut on the siding and pull several cars south to keep from blocking Pearl Street and Main Street.
Left: While waiting for the cars to be uncoupled I took some additional shots. Right: Free of the cars the locomotives cross Ridge Street and head back south where they would couple onto a fourth cut of cars.
Left: One more shot of one of the locomotives as it crossed Ridge Street. Right: After bring a fourth cut of cars up the siding to Prairie Street the locomotives returned to the main once again. Their switching job was completed. Soon they would head south once again.
Later, after a nice lunch at a small cafe in Monon, Indiana. I met the returning engines near the Monon depot. Then, I called it a successful day and headed back to South Bend. My research on Shelby can wait another day.
Left: Just crossing over the north leg of the wye at Monon on its return trip. Right: Passing the town park.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I did taking them, although it was COLD!
@2006 Tom Kepshire