Location / Name:
South Bend IN, St Joseph County
Notre Dame University
Former NYC Union Station
Former Vandalia Rwy Station
NICTD Commuter Railroad
Bus Transportation Center that had planned to be the new Amtrak station, but never happened
the Studebaker National Museum
GPS Coordinates: 41.676377, -86.250360 (downtown at Michigan/Washington Sts)
Phone A/C: 574
Access by train/transit:
Amtrak, via 2 trains, the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited
The commuter railroad NICTD, brings you in from the west, originating in Chicago. The NICTD commuter service was formerly part of the South Shore, or more properly, the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend.
South Bend's main action is the Norfolk Southern mainline, formerly the New York Central, coming through E/W, and splitting WB to go to either Michigan City or Chicago via Valparaiso.
The majority of crossings with the R-O-W are separated, with the roads going under the tracks - this doesn't offer the railfan many good opportunities for pictures, since the tracks appear to be behind tree lines most of the time :-(
Along W. South St in the downtown area are some of the few places you have a clear sight line, but the sun will never be behind you since you're on the north side of the tracks.
For a town of its size, South Bend had many more (real) stations than many larger towns. There are three active stations in South Bend, one for Amtrak, the two for NICTD. In addition, South Bend is lucky to have two former railroad stations still around: the New York Central's (and Grand Trunk) Union Station, and the Vandalia RR depot. No longer with us is the older station for the Grand Trunk, and South Shore's downtown terminus.
NICTD trains have their eastern most station here at the airport, see the pictures and schedules below.
In 1958, as can be seen in the USGS map below, South bend used to host:
the New York Central, a lot of this trackage is gone
the Grand Trunk
the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend
the New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois
At the turn of the century circa 1905, South Bend had:
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rwy (became part of the NYC in 1914)
The Grand Trunk Rwy
the Vandalia Rwy (was part of the Pennsy family, but most trackage not abandoned until the Conrail era)
the Michigan Central RR
Eugene Van Dusen / Harry Zillmer / MD McCarter
Tom Kempshire (monon.org)
George M Stupar
Google Images / Google Maps / Bing Maps
USGS Maps: University of Texas Library and the University of Indiana
Library of Congress (1890 pictorial map): https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4094s.pm002040/
Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
South Bend is pretty easy to get to, at least for those of us traveling east and west along the northern parts of OH, IN, PA, and IL. Interstate 1-80/90 brushes by the northern side of South Bend, although it is a toll road called the Indiana Toll Road.
US 31 comes down from the Benton Harbor area of Michigan, although getting from there and I-94 is messy since it looks like they didn't connect I-94 and US 31 very well, having to take local roads to complete the journey.
US 20 comes in from the west, and then circles around the south side of town, picking up where US 31 ends where they come together. US 20 also crosses the two "westward" rail lines as seen below.
1) the Amtrak Station
2) Union Station
3) Mainline Split
4) NS South Bend Yard
5) Former Vandalia Rwy Depot
6) NICTD South Bend Airport Station
7) Former Grand Trunk Depot
8) Former Michigan Central Depot
9) the Downtown South Shore Station
10) the Bus Transportation Center
A couple of shots of NICTD's stop at the airport.... Looks like a pleasant ride along the property edge coming into the airport.
David Wilson photo
David Wilson photo
NICTD Route maps
Lakeshore Limited Service
Capitol Limited Service
The Studebaker plant was located in town until it closed in 1963... it was the world's largest wagon manufacturer, and the only one to succeed in the automobile business.
Those of you who are into machining should be familiar with the South Bend name because they were located here.
On June 30, 1934 The Merchants National Bank in South Bend was the last bank to be robbed by the notorious "Dillinger gang".
The Singer Sewing Machine Company and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company were driving forces in the development of South Bend in the early 1900's.
Other businesses that had a presence here were Bendix, Honeywell,
Allied Signal, and the O'Brien Paint Company.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
Last Modified 13-Nov-2017