Will passenger trains ever return to Fort Wayne?

Rally for Rail flyer.  Click here to download it.

This Friday, at 4:30 pm at the Baker Street Train Station, Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association will be holding a Rally for Rail. The Rally will feature a speaker from Amtrak as well as local and state officials. A note – this group, NIPRA, is not advocating for high speed rail, rather passenger rail service which would run at Amtrak speeds, which is around 80 mph. The corridor could run as far east as Lima and terminate in Chicago. If you are interested in seeing passenger rail service back in town, attend the rally and show your support. Today’s featured article is after the jump.

Will passenger trains ever return to Fort Wayne? from the Fort Wayne Railfans website


[…] One idea would be to add one long route to Chicago’s elaborate Metra commuter train system. It is possible that Metra could run a train between Fort Wayne and Chicago if funding from Indiana was allocated for it. This would be a very useful service to people who commute to Chicago from Valparaiso and the surrounding communities, too.


[…] There are many issues to tackle in the above plan; one being the lack of a connector in the correct quadrant of the diamond at Upper Sandusky. There is no doubt that several construction projects will be needed in order to initiate this train. Here are some of the issues broken down by segment.

  • Columbus to Upper Sandusky: This is a busy stretch of railroad. Will CSX even allow a passenger train to run on this line and where would the train stop and layover in Columbus?
  • Upper Sandusky to Fort Wayne: This is probably the least used portion of the proposed route. Between Cole in Lima and Fort Wayne there are no passing sidings. There is light freight traffic on this portion of the line. This could present a problem, but a short passing siding placed somewhere between Lima and Fort Wayne would probably solve this.
  • Fort Wayne: Norfolk Southern has trackage rights on a 4 mile stretch of the Fort Wayne Line in the city between Mike and Sand interlockings. This combined with RailAmerica’s own traffic creates a lot of congestion in the city on this line. Getting through Mike interlocking is difficult since the crossing diamonds are now gone. Double tracking the line between these two segments would be necessary to run the passenger train.
  • Fort Wayne – Clarke Junction: RailAmerica operates between Sand and Tolleston (Gary). There are also locals that ply the line, especially between Fort Wayne and the SDI plant in Columbia City. Several passing sidings exist on this section of the line but only one of them (Selby) is currently used for meets. The rest are either out of service or are used as storage tracks. Most likely at least one of the other passing sidings would need upgrading in order to run the passenger train. Between Tolleston and Clarke Jct. there is little to no traffic on the Fort Wayne Line.
  • Clarke Junction – Chicago: At Clarke Jct. the train would join the NS Chicago Line. This segment is double track and, except for the Cardinal, is already used by all Amtrak trains to/from the East Coast. No upgrade necessary.


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