Bedford to Bloomington

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  • States: Indiana   
  • Railroads: CI&L   
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Looking north at the abandoned crossing of the Monon with the Milwaukee Road in Bedford, IN. The track is still in place for about another mile or so north to an old GM plant. Photo by Jeremy Harris, August 2008.

This abandoned railway line was part of the 5th Subdivision of the Monon that ran south from McDoel Yard in Bloomington to Louisville, KY, just south of the Indiana state line. The Monon connected with the Illinois Central in Bloomington, and with the Milwaukee Road in Bedford. (See Bedford to Seymour.) The Monon's presence in Bedford was marked by significant street running, and the Monon's unusual grade crossing signals. Outside of Bedford, the line had a number of small spurs that served nearby quarries along the way.

The right-of-way as abandoned contained a new alignment between the town of Clear Creek to the north and Harrodsburg to the south. The formerly abandoned route ran to the east of the newer segment, which followed Clear Creek most of its way. It is not known why the original alignment in this area was abandoned.

The line between these two towns was abandoned in 1993. McDoel Yard in Bloomington remained operational under the ownership of CSX, with abandonment of the yard coming in 2006. The remainder of the line up to Cloverdale was abandoned in 1995, reportedly due to a washout along the line.

Lived in Bloomington from 1974-1978, remember chasing the Floridian southbound with a carload of friends down the street which paralled the track from downtown. SDP40-F's. We had a ball. McDoel Yard was packed, lots of old Monon Equip, don't know how many trains ran, but this was a hot piece of railroad. Very, very sad to see the end.

Dave Kimmel
Many places, MN
12/12/2008

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The new alignment was built to avoid the steep northbound grade on the original line (it often required doubling of freights), and also the new line allowed access to limestone quarries.

Jeff Wieland
West Lafayette, IN
10/6/2009

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Well got more bad news! Both of these lines are slated for abandonment soon! INRD is going to run the last train very soon, and the Hoosier Sub (csxt) has not run a train in some time. INRD is abandoning south of Crane. I helpled lay one of the last stretches of welded rail on this line when I worked for the CP, Soo Line. Very sad indeed!!

Jeremy J. Harris
Anon, IN
4/28/2010

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as i look at your photo's of bedford i hung out at the bedford depot when i was a teenager. i got to know some of the engineer's and condutors and agent's like lloyd kimble, jack higgins and margret chambers. i really miss seeing trains run through bedford. that was the best times of my life.

Justus Turpin
Bedford, IN
7/23/2010

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Just wanted to post an update on this page. Recently there was an arson to a railway bridge near the landfill in Bedford. This happened not long after CSX said they were abandoning the lines.

I grew up just a short walk from GM in Bedford, to my knowledge the lines behind GM are still there but everything running north has been removed.

I believe if they are not going to run on the tracks, they should start removing more. Some of tracks where they cross the roads are in really poor shape. At least you would think the city would patch some of these area's such as I street near the old depo.

Jerry
Bedford, IN
5/12/2011

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Does Bedford still have any rail service at all??? I know the county I live in ,Perry really fought hard to keep the railroad runing from Tell City to Lincoln City in service.

Brian Gray
Cannelton, IN
10/12/2011

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My wife and I walked the rail-trail from downtown Bloomington south past McDoel Yard. A nice bridge has been built on the north end of McDoel so the trail goes over the road. There are some good markers and picture boards of the yard in it's heyday.

Brian S.
Troy, OH
5/26/2013

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Vandals recently released brakes on several storage cars South of the burned bridge that ended up derailing just before the South bridge approach. CSX has not touched it in weeks, but there are interesting photos on the Indiana Railroad Bull Session site if anyone is interested.

James Norwood
Logansport/Kokomo, IN
10/7/2013

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There is no longer any rail service going through Bedford,Indiana. The old Milwaukee Line from Bedford,Indiana to Crane,Indiana has been removed and made in to rails for trails. The Old Monon line From Bedford,Indiana to Mitchell,Indiana is abandoned but the rail is still intact but the White River Bridge is out of service due to a fire.

Justus Turpin
Bedford, IN
8/11/2016

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