Conrail's South Bend Secondary Line-Branch Into Downtown-1982
This website contains a collection of snapshots I made one fall day in 1982 walking Conrail's South Bend Secondary line from St. Mary's College south into downtown South Bend as well as more recent ones. In February of 1983 the City of South Bend removed the tracks. That same year the City of South Bend used these photos to make their case in buying the line from Conrail.
Eventually this former Michigan Central/New York Central/Penn Central/Conrail line was converted into the East Race bike trail south of Angela Street. In August of 2006 one of the last vestiges of this line was removed during expansion of the Madison Center along Niles Street. Old rails and ties that had been buried beneath asphalt on the old Rose Materials site were excavated and tossed aside. Surviving elements of this former branch line include the bridges over Michigan Street and Leeper Avenue as well as the curving trestle that spans the East Race just north of LaSalle Street.
Be sure to check out Tom Kepshire's website focused on South Bend railroads past and present for more information including historic photos of trains on this line and a map. Click here to go directly to his section on this branchline.
The segments are broken down as follows:
1. Map showing Conrail line into downtown South Bend
2. St. Mary's College South to Angela Street.
3. Angela Street southeast to Howard Avenue.
4. Howard Avenue Southeast to Niles Avenue.
5. Niles Avenue south across LaSalle and Colfax.
6. Aftermath-Removal of tracks by City of South Bend crews and recent artifacts.
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