A Chicago Hub Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
The Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad
(South Shore Line)


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The Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (CSS&SB or South Shore line) was a regional electric railroad connecting Chicago with Northern Indiana lake shore communities and South Bend, Indiana. It operated over Illinois Central tracks to Kensington and State Line Jct. where it connected to it's own rails to continue to South Bend. During the 1930's and 1940's the South Shore operated very frequent, primarily commuter, passenger trains to Gary with many continuing on to South Bend. It also provided motor coach service from Michigan City, Indiana to Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) was formed in 1977 to help fund the South Shore, which went into bankruptcy in 1989. The NICTD picked up the passenger service, and a newly formed Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad, picked up the freight service which still operates to this day. The NICTD is one of the few surviving interurban streetcar lines in the United States, with only the Norristown High Speed Line and SEPTA Suburban Trolley Lines in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area in the same category. The main yard, shops and dispatching office are in Michigan City, and NICTD corporate headquarters is in Chesterton.
Early history of the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad
(South Shore Line)

1901 - Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railway chartered to build electric street railway
1903 - Service East Chicago and Indiana Harbor, Indiana begins
1904 - Renamed Chicago Lake Shore and South Bend Railway
1908 - Service begins Michigan City to South Bend, Indiana
1908 - Extension west to State Line Jct. transfer point in Hammond opened

South Shore Line
South Shore Line
September 30, 1944
1909 - CLS&SB leases Kensington and Eastern Railroad (owned by IC), and full line from South Bend to Kensington is completed
1912 - CLS&SB trains coupled to IC steam locomotives for run into downtown Chicago
1925 - CLS&SB enters receivership
1925 - CLS&SB bought at foreclosure by Samuel Insull's newly incorporated Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad
1926 - Power changed from AC to DC allowing CSS&SB to operate directly to Illinois Central's Randolph Street station in Chicago without an engine change
1926 - Original line from East Chicago to Hammond abandoned
1941-1945 - South Shore turned a profit during WW2 due to heavy industrial nature of Northern Indiana
1967 - C&O buys South Shore line.
1971 - SS refuses to join Amtrak.
1976 - SS files for passenger service abandonment.
1977 - Indiana forms Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District to fund passenger service.
1977 - CSS&SB in bankruptcy.
1989 - NICTD takes over passenger service.
1990 - Track sold to NICTD.
1990 - Freight service taken over by Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad, a subsidiary of Anacosta and Pacific.
1992 - Extension from old South Bend station to SB airport.
2006 - Growing Northern Indiana population and gas prices may spur extensions to nearby population centers.

South Shore Line map
NICTD (South Shore Line) map



Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
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Copyright Richard Parks, April 25, 2009