Elkhart is a neat little town with a big yard.
Furthermore, it is home to the National NYC RR Museum, the
Western RR, and a newly formed road by the name of the
Grand Elk RR, going
from here to
Grand Rapids over the leased Norfolk Southern line, a 122.9
In 1851, the Michigan
Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad Company built the first
rail line through the city, and by 1852 the first passenger train passed
through town. This, in turn, caused major population growth.
Today, Norfolk Southern has the
biggest railroad presence in town, although Elkhart has 2 other railroads
(the shortline Elkhart and Western (operated by Pioneer Railcorp) and the
regional Grand Elk RR (operated by Watco). Amtrak has two trains that
stop in Elkhart: the Lake Shore Limited and Capital Limited. Canadian
Pacific runs 6-8 trains through town on Norfolk Southern's trackage.
In 1889, the second streetcar system in the world
opened on Elkhart, but was subsequently taken apart in the mid 60's as the
bus revolution took place (as done in most U.S. cities)(needs verification).
Acknowledgements: Jack Prange II for tips and photographs
Denver Todd for pictures of the National NYC RR Musuem
Here are a couple of photo tips from Jack Prange II, who visits Elkhart about once
a month to take pictures:
Location #1: The Depot is still a good place to shoot from, although
you might want to shoot from the side with the over hang since a new
business went at the station and is using the parking on the left side of
Location #2: National New York Central Railroad Museum on the south
side of the station.
Location #3: At the west end of the yard on the north side, there is a
former Green House/Garden Center that is now something else. On the
right side there is access road to the business that is not used you can sit
there and watch train leaving from the on the Westbound departure and come
in on the Inbound Runner and not get run-off for trespassing.
Location #4: The Gas Station in the same area but wouldn't really
suggest it since it's always busy. And,
Location #5(ish): Is the fuel pad right next to 933..... there is a
business there that closes up after a certain time, and you can use the
parking spots after they close.
We'll try to get him to take some signal pictures on his next visit :-)
The National NYC RR Museum
At MP31, Three Rivers at Main St, NB, picture from video by spikedawg09
Also at MP31, Three Rivers at Main St, NB, picture from video by spikedawg09
At Heimbach Rd, SB, also by spikedawg09, notice the signals
Norfolk Southern's Elkhart Yard
You never know what you will see coming in and out of Norfolk Southern's yard... When I was there years ago, I caught a couple of Susie-Q SD's on the lead of a freight!
Nice yard, too bad there isn't a good place to watch the operations from. NS cops are particularly nasty and efficient, and can and will arrest you for trespassing. The best yard I've come across
for watching is the Norfolk Southern one in Roanoke VA, where they don't seem to mind if you watch from up on the hill where the yard tower
is... great view from up there, BTW!!!!
The NS yard is large enough that you can't fit it into one birds eye view, so I present an aerial shot for you.
A signal bridge on the south side of town behind an Advance Auto, just above E Hively Ave/County Road 18.... There aren't as many signals in town as you would think.
These signals have been recently replaced, maybe earlier in 2016?
older aerial shot.
Above: A view from Hively Ave, taken by Google in 2013, below: an aerial
view taken more recently, showing you the new cantilever signal bridge with
Shot from Lusher Rd is a NB NS freight with a Union Pacific engine on the
head-end. Courtesy Jack Prange II.
Signals along Lincoln Way getting ready to be replaced.....
A SB/EB freight at McDonald St.... gotta love this photo service from Bing!
Proposed "trolley" busses coming
Elkhart is planning to buy seven new busses, designed from the ground up to replace aging equipment on their roster. The following pictures and article came from
I guess by now in December 2016, they should be running!!
Old Streetcar Picture found on EBay
Just north of the EWR is this girder bridge adjacent to a small dam.
Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click
their index page.
So far, this is the only vintage map I can
find for the area.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an
expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.
This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.
Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides
are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. For those
of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of
almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to
help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has
been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this
railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels
inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have
something to add or correct.... credit is always given!