Todd's Railfan Guide to

In General
Getting Here
What is Gone
Fire & Police


In General

Location / Name:
Indianapolis IN - Westside

What's Here:
Big Four / Avon Yard - CSX
Hawthorne Yard
Amtrak Station
the Indiana Railroad
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

GPS Coordinates: 39.768497, -86.157995 (Soldiers Monument downtown)
ZIP: 46204
County: Marion
Phone AC: 317/463

Access by train/transit:
Amtrak - downtown

The Scoop:
Indianapolis was, and still is, a great town to railfan in and around.  There is plenty to do, and plenty to see. 

Indianapolis is central to so many other great places to railfan, it is hard to mention them all here.  Kokomo is about 50 miles due north on US31.   Ft Wayne is about 105 miles northeast via I-69.  Lafayette is about 60 miles northwest.  Champaign is about 115 miles west on I-74.  Terre Haute is about 70 miles southwest, and has a couple of towers on display that have been moved.  Cincinnati is 100 miles southeast via I-74.  Gary is about 165 miles up I-65 to the northish west.  Last, but not least, is the Linden Depot Museum about 53 miles away out I-74, then north on US231.

Tim Vermande, Gary Vierk, Google Maps

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
http://evansvillerail.blogspot.com/2011/09/another-day-another-company-chooses-us.html  Not really pertinent to Indianapolis, but......

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

Getting Here

This is a new page, and I am soliciting contributions to make it better.  Please send contributions to me via my contact page (below).



Because there is a lot on this page to view, I've included the shortcuts below to make it easier.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   F1

 CSX Big Four / Avon Yard

This yard, now a CSX yard, was formerly a Conrail, Penn Central, and New York Central yard after the CCC&StL officially became part of the NYC in 1930.  It is busy most of the time.

From the Ronald Reagan Parkway overpass...... this bridge wasn't around when I was visiting back at the turn of the millennium :-)  Appears to be a good vantage point, especially for thru freights.

  Looking East

  Looking West

  Vandalia Junction

  Caven Yard







What is Gone

Here are a couple of maps to show you what has disappeared from Indianapolis over the past 50-60 years.  Even when I was travelling to Indianapolis for business back in the 1998-2002 timeframe, you could still see old Pennsy and old B&O signals still standing, although not used (I saw ONE B&O CPL while driving on the highway one day, and could never figure out where it was when I went railfanning :-(.  I'm sure they are long gone, as were most of the abandoned tracks portrayed in this section.

Fire and Police

Dublin EMS

About 50 miles east of Indianapolis on US RT 40

  courtesy Tim Vermande


The Linden Depot Museum

GPS Coordinates:
520 North Main St, Linden IN 47955
Hours: 12-5; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays; April through October

Although not in the immediate Indianapolis area, the Linden Depot Museum is a worthwhile stop if you have time.  The people there are very friendly and helpful.  They have a number of freight cars and cabooses on display, as well as a B&O CPL signal along with a train order semaphore, and the station sits at what used to be a diamond crossing between the NKP (E-W) and the Monon (N-S).  The depot is the last surviving junction depot in Indiana.  The depot was built in 1908.  The depot closed in 1973 as a railroad station, and re-opened in 1993 as a museum.  The depot's unique shape is due to the placement of the tracks that used to be here.

Historical USGS Maps

Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for their index page.  There was nothing from the USGS for Indianapolis in the early years.....


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  I do these pages because I love spending my time doing them - although I do a reasonable amount of research to make sure the information presented is accurate! :-)  :-)

Please Note:  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, oooooooops, oh well! :-)  

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.

BTW, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

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! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


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NEW 10/26/2016
Last Modified 26-Oct-2016