Van Yard, Terre Haute, and no less then 3 C&ED crossings
The northern section of the Chicago Subdivision is an interesting operation unto itself, The section from Fayette to Spring Hill has no less then 4 crossings with many diamonds included in them, more then all the other sections of the INRD combined. The number of crossings are indicative of the nature of this part of the line, interchange, it is here that quite a bit of INRD traffic makes it's way onto the CSXT for forwarding to Chicago and other points.
Beginning at Fayette, the current Northern terminus of the line. We have the Wabash Generator; indeed the entire reason the line still travels this far north. The Wabash Generator is the destination of quite a bit of coal, however not all of it is burned here. Located near the generator is a gasification plant. Coal gasification is a process that converts coal from a solid to a gaseous state. The gas that is created is very similar to natural gas and can be used to make chemicals, fertilizer, and/or electric power. Coal and/coke is often interchanged to the INRD to be brought here, often from far off locations as Wisconsin. Also at Fayette is a siding/run around track so that engines can be moved to the south end of the train when they are ready to head back south
Moving south after the Wabash River crossing the line takes a more easterly track, as it skirts the outskirts of Terre Haute soon arriving at the first of many CSXT crossings in the area, Dewey. Dewey is a simple automatic diamond unlike the others in the area for the CSXT CE&D subdivision. INRD inherited responsibility for upkeep of the interlocking from CP.
As we head east the line turns to the south once more soon arriving at the Preston CTC interlocking, also known by itís bland Conrail given CP-68 designation. This is the crossing of the CSXT, former CR, Double track Saint Louis Line Subdivision, unlike the others in the area INRD does not control this interlocking it is controlled from Indianapolis by the CSXT IB dispatcher. Just to the west of this interlocking is an important connection that allows trains Northbound on the INRD to enter the Saint Louis Line Subdivision heading west or east. Milwaukee and SOO used to connection to access trackage rights to Chicago, which were later shifted to the C&ED. INRD uses the connection to Interchange the Ameren trains now, CSX uses it to turn trains when needed.
Just south of Preston is Van Yard, the new nerve center for operations on the INRD as the dispatchers reside here in the yard office. The Yard itself is used to service the multitude of customers in the area, and in the industrial park nearby. Local switching power can often be found here.
The line from Van Yard to Belt Junction if often referred to as the Terre Haute belt, much of it is on an elevated fill. This section of track once had a quasi-CTC block system, which SOO removed sometime in the 90s. This is the only section of track in INRD ownership that once had ABS block signals, which allowed trains to proceed by signal indication rather then paper orders, at Belt Junction the line crosses the CSXT C&ED sub again as well as the CE&Dís baker siding. A new connection here allows trains to enter and exit the CSXT Baker siding, There is also an older wye connecting to the Hullman Street lead, which is a remnant of the original way thru town, mostly long abandoned now. The Hullman Street lead is used by Van yard switchers to access more Terre Haute industries.
Just south of Belt Junction is the infamous Spring Hill interlocking, Once the location of the Dispatcher for the line, and more famously a tower and the last lever tower on the SOO. It was shut down and sold to local interests who moved it to a Park near Haley Tower. The interlocking itself now is still very complex and has been continualy reworked and upgraded to ease operations and lower maintence costs. The new junction arangement allows the INRD to access the CSXT at South Baker as they have always done as well as allowing both the CSXT and INRD to access the Peavey grain spur to move cuts off grain cars to and from the peavey lead, Without the cost and uneeded arangement of the extra diamond. The INRD Riley spur connects here as well.
South of here the line quickly enters rural lands once more on itís trek to JasonvilleÖ....
Terre Haute IN, Spring Hill, Baker, and Belt Junction.
Terre Haute IN. Van Yard
Terre Haute IN, Preston (CP-68) interlocking
Terre Haute IN, Dewey interlocking
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