Railroads & Locomotives Railroad Profiles Regionals The Indiana Rail Road Company profile

The Indiana Rail Road Company profile

By Lucas Iverson | January 19, 2023

| Last updated on January 30, 2023

The Indiana Rail Road Company is a Class II regional railroad operating across central and southwest Indiana, and central Illinois.

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Indiana Rail Road Company logoThe Indiana Rail Road Company summary

The Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) is a Class II regional railroad that operates across central and southwest Indiana, and central Illinois. CSX Transportation owns a majority share of the railroad. Headquartered in Indianapolis, the 250-mile network of standard-gauge track stretches west to Newton, Ill., north to Terre Haute, Ind., and south to Crane, Ind.


The Indiana Rail Road was formed in 1986 by Tom Hoback to operate the former Illinois Central Railroad’s branch line between Indianapolis and Newton. The railroad had one customer at the time, Indianapolis Power & Light that accounted for 90% of carloads and 93% of revenue. A major gamechanger took place in 2001 when the Ameren power plant in Newton awarded the INRD and Canadian Pacific Railway business to haul inbound Powder River Basin coal. This business growth led to the short line acquiring the CP Latta Subdivision between Terre Haute and Crane in 2006.


Whether imported from the Powder River Basin or exported from the local mines, coal is the principal commodity in freight traffic for the Indiana Rail Road. Besides Ameren, Hoosier Energy’s Merom generating station west of Sullivan, Ind., is one of the railroad’s major customers for the imported shipment. As for Indianapolis Power & Light, the only customer the INRD had back in 1986, coal is still being shipped to their Harding Street Station in Indianapolis. The railroad has a 100% market share of incoming sugar and sweetener. Their partnership with Hershey Foods resulted in the freight haulage of Heath bars and other candies from Robinson, Ill. Other services provided outside the freight traffic includes transloading, railcar storage, locomotive maintenance, tariffs, and fuel surcharges.

The Indiana Rail Road’s roster is a vast range of EMD diesel locomotives, mostly secondhand. The most modern motive power to the fleet are the SD90MACs, which carries the red and white color scheme of the railroad.

A partnership with CSX has awarded the INRD trackage rights to Chicago and interchanges with all the Class I railroads. Other interchange locations along the system includes Indianapolis with CSX, the Indiana Southern Railroad, and the Louisville & Indiana Railroad; Terre Haute with CSX; Oakland City, Ind., with Norfolk Southern; and Newton with the Canadian National Railway.

Read more about the Indiana Rail Road Company in Trains’ June 2010 issue.

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