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South Bend - Niles, Michigan Line


Left: State Line 2003. Looking south along the former right of way from the Indiana/ Michigan border. Right: August 5, 1974. Penn Central southbound at Pailsades Avenue, about halfway between the state line and Adams Road. Notice the train orders hanging out on the order board.


Left: July 29, 1974. Southbound approaching Adams Road crossing. Right: Adams Road, 2003. Looking to the north along the old right of way.




The above four photographs are of a NYC derailement that occured in Roseland, Indiana, June of 1956. These pictures are courtesy of George Elwoods Fallen Flags web site. The photographs were taken by Louis Rague and were donated to the Railroad Historical Society of North West Michigan.


Left: October 4, 1974. Penn Central local works the line between South Bend, Indiana and Niles Michigan. Since I am not sure if the original line was NYC or PRR, I opted to include this image here. Train is crossing Cleveland Road, north of St. Marys College. Right: Cleveland Street crossing, October 26, 2003. Photo is taken at street level. As evidenced by the photo, the line has vanished. The line came down along State Road 933 and split with one line going downtown to the East Race area, the other going past Drewery's Brewery to cross the NYC right by the NJI&I office building, It continued South and crossed both the GTW and the NYC Kankakee branch. They had a yard from Ford Street to Olive Street. Special thanks to Leo Pauwels for the information.


Left: Looking north along old right of way at St. Marys College. The Inn at St. Marys is in the right of the photo. Note grade crossing still in place. Just south of this location the Notre Dame And Western Railroad joined the line. Right: August 29, 1974. Southbound local at the grade crossing at St. Marys College.


Left: Tracks heading south at St. Marys College. Picture taken from the street on the south edge of campus. South of this location was the location of a yard, where the line split off to the left and right. Right: Right of way looking to the north from the northern edge of Holy Cross College. At one time the line maintained a yard, starting around this area. One line heading south behind St. Joseph High School and eventually terminating at the East Race area. The other line at Olivers Yard.

East Branch


Left: October 2003. Michigan Street bridge, looking to the north. Right: Leeper Street bridge, October 26, 2003. Looking to the north. Bottom pictures: Today the former right of way is a walking trail. Left: Looking towards the northwest across the Michigan Street bridge. Right: Looking southeast across the Leeper Street bridge.



Left: September 26, 1974. Northbound local freight crossing the bridge at Leeper Street heading towards Niles. Right: Same northbound local street running on Niles Avenue.


Left: Former line west of Niles Avenue. Tracks still in place in 2003. These were part of an industrial spur that crossed the east race, LaSalle Street and serviced the industries there. Right: Railroad bridge across the East Race. Now part of the walking trail along the East Race, this bridge once carried rails south to industries south of LaSalle Street.


Left: Another view of the bridge taken from the walking trail, looking southwest. Right: End of the line. Pictured is the MC freight depot July 14, 1920. The freight house was situated just west and north of the passenger depot.


Two views of the Michigan Central depot in South Bend. These photos were probably taken in the 1920's. The depot was located where there is now a parking lot for the Emporium Restaurant on the corner of Niles Avenue and Jefferson Blvd.  The depot was on the west side of Niles Avenue.


I have been meaning to get these pictures posted for quite some time now. They were sent to me some time ago and I must apologize to Tom Burke for taking so long to include them. These photos were shot during the fall of 1982, when the line was not being used and ready to be removed. Tom has recently launched a web site featuring even more pictures of the line. To visit it, go here.


Left: Looking south along the tracks at St. Mary College. Right: Tracks to the west of St. Josephs High School. Looking south.


Left: North of Angela Blvd looking south. Right: Grade crossing at Angela Blvd.


Left: Tracks south of Angela Blvd crossing. Right: Bridge over Highway 933.


Left: Bridge across Leeper Street. Right: Tracks east of Leeper Street.


Left: Corby Street crossing. Tracks continue souteast. Right: Looking south along the right of way south of Corby Street crossing.


Left: Start of street running on Niles Avenue. Right: Looking south along the tracks in Niles Avenue.


Left: Switch into Rose Fuels. Right: Continued running south east of Niles Avenue.


Left: Tracks continue east of Niles, passing Rose Fuels. Right: The end og the line in 1982. One block north of LaSalle.


Left: LaSalle Street and Niles. The tracks once curved through this intersection. Right: Rail can still be seen south of LaSalle Street and along the west side of Niles Avenue. It ended at the depot.

West Branch

For many years after the line to Niles and East Branch were abandoned, the West Branch remained in operation. As late as the mid 1990's coal was still being delivered to the University of Notre Dame via this branch. By October 2003 all the crossing had been removed and covered over.


Left: September 30, 1976. Penn Central freight crossing the St. Joseph River southbound. Right: October 2003, St. Joseph River bridge as seen from Angela Street.

NYC Steam locomotive #7538 and diesel locomotive pull a freight across the St. Joseph River, circa 1954. This picture is courtesy of George Elwoods Fallen Flags web site. The photographs were taken by Louis Rague and were donated to the Railroad Historical Society of North West Michigan.





Northbound freight working the Nile Branch at the Drewry's plant lead. What remains of this section of the line can be seen in the picture below. The switch stand and tracks are still there. This picture is courtesy of George Elwoods Fallen Flags web site. The photographs were taken by Louis Rague and were donated to the Railroad Historical Society of North West Michigan.





Left: Industrial spur. This spur, curving off to the left, once serviced the Drewrys, formerly Muessel Brewery, on Elwood Street. The main continues south, crossing Lincolnway West. Right: November 2003. Wilbur Street, looking south at what was once the NYC line. Crossings have been paved over.


Left: South of Lincolnway West. Former NYC line looking toward the northeat. Building to the left of the photo, where the smokestack is, was formerly the Hoosier Brewery. Right: College Street 2003. Looking north from the College Street crossing.


Left: College and Colfax Street crossings. Looking to the south. Right: September 30, 1974. Penn Central freight southbound around College and Colfax.


Left: 2003, the end of what is left of the west branch of the Niles Line. At one time the line crossed the main and continued south and crossed the GTW at Olivers Yard. Right: The former MC/ NYC crossing the GTW at Olivers Yard, circa 1962.


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