Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

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redlodger
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Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

Unread post by redlodger »

Hello everyone,

I am looking for information on the rail line to Shipshewana, Indiana. It started in Goshen, and travelled through Middlebury to reach Shipshewana, Under Penn Central, it was called the Shipshewana Branch.

I have not found much about the branch online. According to the USRA Final System Plan, in 1973, operations were weekly, and a 1500 hp locomotive (GP7?) was used. Carloads amounted to 181 at Middleburg, and 275 at Shipshewana. Coachman Industries at Middleburg may have been a customer. The line was not recommended to be included in Conrail,but operating subsidies were available. It seems that Conrail may have operated the branch until 1979, when it was taken over by the Indiana Interstate Railway. Freight was moved during the week, and a steam powered passenger train ran on the weekend. Edds Supply in Shipshewana received tank cars. Customers at that time were a fertilizer dealer (Edds?), lumber yard and grain elevator in Shipshewana, and a lumber yard and factory in Middleburg. Indiana Interstate ceased operations in December 1980. The Penn Central estate still owned the track, and would not sell the line at a reasonable price. The track was taken up in 1981 or 1982.

Anything to help flesh that out is what I am hoping for. Names of customers, commodities shipped or received, locomotives commonly used, how operations were conducted, stories and personalities involved with the branch, etc. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

Edit: Middleburg corrected to Middlebury
Last edited by redlodger on Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Doktor No
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Re: Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

Unread post by Doktor No »

Middlebury. Middlebury, Indiana. I know at one time the line was called the route of the Holy Land Flyer..to the land of Goshen. A piece of it still exists in Sturgis where it joined the GR&I. At one time it ran all the way up to Battle Creek and the LS&MS had half and the MC had half.
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NS3322
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Re: Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

Unread post by NS3322 »

This link provides a lot of great information on the final years of the Pumpkinvine:
http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?topic=597.0

David Lang
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Re: Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

Unread post by David Lang »

I grew up South of Battle Creek in the 80s and 90s. I have a distinct memory of talking to the East Leroy (Village South of Battle Creek) Grain Elevator owners when I was a kid about the old MC line. I think it was called the Pumpkinvine Line around Northern Indiana, but not sure if the whole line was called that or not. Anyway, in the late 80s/early 90s, the East Leroy Elevator owners were maybe in their 50s or 60s at the time and she told me the last train thru East Leroy was in 1934, so the track would have been taken up sometime after that. I'll never forget that conversation.

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Doktor No
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Re: Shipshewana Branch, 1970-1980

Unread post by Doktor No »

The Punkin Vine was the Wabash line from Montpelier to Gary.
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