In General
Getting Here
Other Stuff



In General

Location / Name:
South Bend IN, St Joseph County

What's Here:
Notre Dame University
Amtrak Station
NICTD Commuter Railroad
the Studebaker National Museum

GPS Coordinates: 41.676377, -86.250360 (downtown at Michigan/Washington Sts)
Phone A/C: 574
ZIP: 46601

Access by train/transit:
Amtrak, via 2 trains, the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited
The commuter railroad NICTD will bring you in from the west, originating in Chicago, formerly the South Shore

The Scoop:

South Bend's main action is the Norfolk Southern mainline coming through, 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.

NICTD trains have their eastern most stop 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, this trackage is all gone
     the Grand Trunk
     the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend
     the New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois

Denver Todd
Tim Vermande
David Wilson
Chad Malinovsky
Eugene Van Dusen / Harry Zillmer / MD McCarter
Google Images / Google Maps / Bing Maps
USGS Maps:
University of Texas Library and the University of Indiana

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:

Getting Here

South Bend is pretty easy to get to, at least for those of us travelling 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.




the Amtrak Station
Union Station
Mainline Split
NS South Bend Yard
Bridge Adjacent to E Sample St
NICTD South Bend Airport Station

Amtrak Schedules
NICTD Schedules

  the Amtrak Station

Located on the west side of town, the station area and platforms offers a fairly good vantage point to take pictures from - it's much like Depew NY where you have good sight lines in both directions, and no obstructions in the way, like fences.  On the aerial shots, notice the fancy trackwork, maybe something to put on your model pike!  The TLA (three letter acronym) for South Bend is SOB.

The next Amtrak stop west is Chicago, and to the east, Elkhart.

Indiana has 11 Amtrak stations, and supposedly, South Bend has the 4th highest number of train boardings.

The South Shore used this station until November of 1992, when they built the current station at the airport.

Trains stopping here are the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited, and will take you to Chicago's Union Station (CHI) going WB.

The Meade Street crossing next to the Amtrak Station

  Union Station

Opened in 1929, the depot served the New York Central and the Grand Trunk Western.  It saw it's last passenger train in 1971, before Amtrak took over passenger service.  The depot is located at 326 West South Street.  It had 3 platforms, and 5 tracks.

Photo by Derek Jensen in 2005.... from Wikipedia

  Mainline Split
The split seems fairly accessible off of Chapin St  to the east of the split, and S. Arnold St on the west side of the split.  Before the split, the 5 tracks coming in from the east go down to 2, with 2 tracks heading off to Michigan City, and 3 to Valparaiso.

  NS South Bend Yard
Doesn't look like it is used a whole lot except to stage freight for local service.  The yard is located south of Ford St, not too far from the split.  The yard office  is easy to get to.

  Bridge Adjacent to E Sample St
Looks like the better of the two sides is the western shore, where you can climb the embankment to catch WB freights coming through.

  NICTD South Bend Airport Station

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


A couple of pictures from Tim Vermande from the mid to late 60's of GTW #4950 coming into South Bend

Amtrak Schedules

Lakeshore Limited Service


Capitol Limited Service


NICTD Schedules




The biggest tourist draw in Town is the 150 year old University of Notre Dame, with their 800,000 seat stadium.  There are numerous other things to come by the campus to see besides a Fighting Irish game.... Numerous works of art, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.


South Bend is also home to the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Studebaker National Museum, which are pretty close to each other.


There is also the South Bend Regional Museum of Art, the Northern Indiana Center for History, a complex of four museums, and the South Bend Chocolate Company.  South Bend also hosts the Silver Hawks, a Class A minor league baseball team.
Some of the above info comes from Amtrak's website.

This is a section of the USGS maps of South bend from 1958, east and west.
This should help to dispel any rumor as to whose railroad the Notre Dame branch came off of.

Other snippets of useless info :-)

In 1925, the South Shore Interurban company started service between here and Chicago.

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.


Historical USGS Maps


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.


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NEW 07/09/2009, 04/27/2014
Last Modified 07-Jul-2017