Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #42 – 3/10/22 – South Shore Track Work Changes 2022 Midwest Rail Rangers Programs

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Happy March!

In case you haven’t heard… “street running” in Michigan City, Indiana on the South Shore Line is officially a thing of the past. Midwest Rail Rangers Vice President Bob Neil ended up hosting our last onboard educational program on the South Shore that featured “street running” at the end of February.

At one time, the South Shore also operated on local roadways in East Chicago and South Bend, too. However, that was eliminated in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. The “street running” on the South Shore Line down 10th and 11th Street in Michigan City is being cut to speed up service between Chicago and South Bend. While most everyone welcomes the quicker time-keeping, a piece of history is also being lost unfortunately. The South Shore Line has been called ‘America’s Last Interurban Railroad’ due to the street running in Michigan City.

The on-going track work for this project will also have a big impact on those who ride the South Shore Line during the months ahead. According to NICTD, which operates the South Shore Line, ALL passengers on ALL trains will be bussed between the Dune Park Station and the Michigan City-Carroll Avenue Station. This will allow for the building of the new track, just off the street, through significant portions of Michigan City. This bussing will last through Fall 2022.

After much consultation with NICTD, the Midwest Rail Rangers Board has decided that our onboard educational programs will only operate between Chicago and the Dune Park Station this spring, summer, and fall.

Midwest Rail Rangers President Robert Tabern explains, “The seats on the bus between Dune Park and Michigan City should be for paid passengers… and we would not do narration on a bus anyway… so until through trains resume this fall… our programs will be from Downtown Chicago to Dune Park and back. We look forward to returning back to our longer program schedule to Michigan City and South Bend in seven or eight months from now. We very much appreciate the NICTD allowing us to continue to do our onboard educational programs on the train when so many other components going on right now with the busing.”

One of the positive things of the temporary schedule is it will allow Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides to have an informal “meet and greet” with people at the Dune Park Station from 10:15am to 11:00am on days the programs will be given. Even people who do not ride the train can come out to the train station located near U.S. 12 and Indiana Highway 49 and meet the Rail Rangers and learn more about the programs on the train.

The Midwest Rail Rangers’ South Shore Line schedule in March and April has been adjusted (see below). Our May through August schedule will be posted in a few weeks from now. Programs will be presented mainly on weekdays this spring, summer, and fall… until programs resume to Michigan City/South Bend.

Sincerely,

Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors

Robert Tabern – President

Bob Neil – Vice-President

Kandace Tabern – Treasurer & Educational Officer

Michael Pace – Secretary

Interpretive Guides:

Kathy Bruecker, Fred Glure, Joe Kuczynski, Lowell Olberg & Steve Snyder