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Louisville & Indiana Railroad acquires Southern Indiana Railway

By Dan Cupper | May 12, 2022

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Maroon locomotives in switching yard


Maroon locomotives in switching yard
Regional carrier Louisville & Indiana has acquired the Southern Indiana Railway. L&I currently operates six lines in seven states. Here a number of their GP38-3s pass through their Jeffersonville, Ind., yard facilities. (Steve Smedley)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — The Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC), a 106-mile-long regional carrier connecting Indianapolis with Louisville, Ky., has acquired a Louisville-area short line, the defunct 5.5-mile-long Southern Indiana Railway (SIND).

One of several railroads owned by the Chicago-based Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., LIRC operates from a yard and maintenance shop here. It will convert the former SIND enginehouse to a maintenance-of-way facility and store track material on surrounding property.

In addition, the railroad will use the short line’s assets to explore expanding service to industrial sites.

“We see this as a way to grow our footprint,” says John Goldman, LIRC president, in a press release. “The existing track is maintained to FRA Class 1 standards, and we will consider upgrades and rehabilitation dependent on commercial opportunities we can create.”

Based in Sellersburg, Ind., the short line connected with CSX Transportation at Watson, Ind., until ending operations in 2020. Its motive-power roster consisted of two re-engined Alco S2 switchers.

SI operated over a former interurban right-of-way. According to LIRC, the short line “traced its history to the 1905 expansion of the Louisville & Northern Electric Traction Co., an interurban line owned by Chicago utilities magnate Samuel Insull, and the subsequent 1939 sale of a portion of the line to form Southern Indiana Railway.”

According to LIRC, “the federal Surface Transportation Board approved the acquisition on April 5, noting that with SIND out of service, no current employees are affected by the action.”

Louisville & Indiana connections include CSX, Norfolk Southern, Indiana Rail Road, and Paducah & Louisville Railway. Formerly the Pennsylvania Railroad’s main line to Louisville, the route once carried such name passenger trains as the Chicago-Louisville Kentuckian and PRR’s segment of the South Wind, a through Chicago-Miami train operated in conjunction with the Louisville & Nashville, Atlantic Coast Line, and Florida East Coast railroads. Built in the 1860s, it was part of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, a major component of PRR’s Lines West territory.

Anacostia Rail Holdings Co. is a railroad holding company operating six lines in seven states. Besides LIRC, the others are Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad (South Shore Freight), Gulf Coast Switching Co., New York & Atlantic Railway Co., Northern Lines Railway, and Pacific Harbor Line.

5 thoughts on “Louisville & Indiana Railroad acquires Southern Indiana Railway

  1. I remember the Pennsy’s South Wind from a month spent in Jeffersonville, Indiana in the summer of 1965. My dad was installing an Allis Chalmers steam turbine at a nearby power plant, and my mom and I stayed with him at a Jeffersonville motel. I soon realized, after spending some time at the swimming pool, that the PRR Indianapolis-Louisville line was in view. I saw some freight trains, and then one day the South Wind appeared. I was 16-years-old, already a railfan and a Trains subscriber. But I was still learning as I am to this day. I saw a train that I later figured out was the South Wind. There were the E units that I recognized from watching trains pass through my hometown of Casey, Illinois on the Pennsy’s St. Louis main line. However, this train was much longer and had a dome car! Now, in 2022, I have Googled and found a New York Times article from Dec. 6, 1964 with a headline “Dome Cars Added To Chicago-Miami Rail Run”. The article says “They were leased from Northern Pacific and are for Pullman passengers only”. It is wonderful that there was a time that adding a dome car to a passenger train merited a mention in the New York Times.

  2. Regarding the last sentence above, putting my editor’s visor on, I should have eliminated both of the “that”s.

  3. The second I saw the headline, I was like “hey, that’s the old interurban line to Speed.”

    One of the last lines to run under the merged Indiana Railroad under Insull. A huge head on collision north of Seymour in 1941 ended it for good and the tracks were pulled except down at Sellersburg to be used for freight.

  4. I can’t think of many repowered Alco S series switchers. Are these former L&N or GTW examples, perhaps (Only railroad owned examples that I can think of off the top of my head, although industrial users also did similar conversions)?

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