The Muncie Branch

Converse to Matthews, IN

This Chicago, Indiana and Eastern Railway line was built from Converse, Indiana (off the Pennsylvania Railroad's Columbus branch) to Muncie, Indiana, via Swayzee, Cole, Fairmount and Matthews, between 1895 to 1900 with hope to take advantage of the natural gas boom found in this area. Despite resistance from shippers along the line, the railroad won all court cases and quickly abandoned this little-known money-losing line between Converse and Matthews as early as 1932. PRR used trackage rights via the New York Central Railroad to get to Muncie and Matthews until that section of the line too was removed much later.

Little remains today.

—  ICC Abandonment Filings  —

Pennsylvania Railroad
Docket: 9311 4/8/1932 Section: 1
App. of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis RR. Co. and Pennsylvania RR. Co., lessee, for certificate to abandon that part of the Muncie Branch of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis RR., extending from Converse, Miami County, to Matthews, Grant County, Indiana, a distance of 26 miles.
Length: 26.0 miles Citation: 189 ICC 669

—  User Comments  —

It is said that planners of this line wanted to build to Cincinnati, Ohio and that part of the planned route was later used by the C&O of Indiana line coming out of the Queen City. Some say they wanted a line from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, instead.

Pullman Car Passenger service was used along this line for a short time before it was removed formerly offering trips from Muncie to Chicago.

Matthews to Muncie was the last segment to go and the line's bridge over the White River in Muncie still stands beside the C&O bridge (TODAY Cardinal Trail).

James Norwood
Logansport/Kokomo, IN
10/6/2013

I have a question concerning the Muncie to Converse Line.

I read where there was a train wreck on this line at Swayzee and that the Pennsy train had stopped at Swayzee blocking the diamond meanwhile a NKP EB train did not see the diamond block and smashed threw a standing box car

I would like to see that article again if anyone is familiar with this story

Thank you

Mitch Mitchell
Cincinnati, OH
12/19/2013

I have found in my driving in the area of Fowlerton and Matthews area, that many of farm fencing has used these rails for corner posts. Slow down and you will see them. GLO

gary olynger
gas city, IN
5/31/2014

My grandad Lyman A Kinney was one of the first agents at Matthews

Indiana if not the first.

jack kinney
mcdonald, PA
2/16/2015

East of Fairmount between 950 S and 1050 S there are still remnants of this line. A good friend of mines dad remembers his father talking about how there was passenger service on this line when he was very young. That would have had to be in the mid to late 20's. The family still lives on the same land as the grandfather and back in the early 90's we used to walk over to the wooded area and you could still see railroad ties in the ground. At that time we had not a clue what or where this line went. It always stuck with me and years later when I found this website I sent the link to their family just so they could understand what was on their land at one time many many years ago.

Miles Noe
Fairmount , IN
7/9/2019

I don't think the eventual C&O line used any part of the planned route because they were both being built in competition with each other. The Cincinnati Richmond & Muncie and the Chicago Indiana & Eastern were competing for the same route from Muncie to Richmond to Cincinnati. The CR&M winning the backing from the local communities and money from financiers in Boston. The CR&M also had a more favorable route than the planned CI&E. This is what I have read in the Richmond Indiana papers of the time.

Robert Edward Carter
Cincinnati, OH
9/27/2019