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Chicago South Shore & South Bend - Railroad

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Chicago South Shore & South Bend - Railroad
Company Name Chicago South Shore & South Bend
Company Web Site Link
Category Railroad
Year Founded 1925
Country United States (Details)
Source of Text Bluford Shops
Text Credit URL Link
Chicago South Shore & South Bend - Railroad



Company History: The CSS&SB was born in 1925 when traction and utility magnate Samuel Insull acquired and reorganized the Chicago Lake Shore & South Bend. The CLS&S was a robustly built electric interurban line connecting South Bend, Indiana with Michigan City, Gary, East Chicago, Hammond and finally Illinois Central’s suburban line at Kensington, Illinois, just south of Chicago. The line was already blessed with broad curves and slight grades so it was not difficult for Insull to convert the line into a heavy electric in a style that would be familiar to fans of PRR, DL&W or Reading. Insull also secured trackage rights on the IC into Chicago. The overhead wire is a mix of catenary and trolley wire (the latter used on some of the low speed street trackage.)

Like many railroads, CSS&SB fell into bankruptcy in 1932 and Samuel Insull lost control. The Golden Age of Traction was over and the new management began to place more emphasis on freight service.

In addition to some boxcab electrics, the South Shore was one of two American roads to own “Little Joe” electrics. These had been built in the 1950s for the Soviet Union but Cold War tensions killed the deal. They were re-gauged (Russia is 5’ gauge) and sold to South Shore and Milwaukee Road instead. The “Little Joe” name was a reference to Joseph Stalin.

In 1967, Chesapeake & Ohio gained control of the South Shore and the occasional C&O diesel could be found switching the South Shore. In 1981, the Little Joe’s were retired and freight operations were dieselized with yellow and blue (like Chessie without the vermilion) GP38-2’s. Passenger operations remained electrified. Passenger losses were subsidized by the state of Indiana through this period. In 1982, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District paid for a fleet of new passenger cars that replaced the heavy steel cars that first went into service in the Insull era.

In 1989, the South Shore fell into bankruptcy, bringing an end to CSX (formerly C&O) control of the line. Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District took over operation of the money losing passenger operations. The following year, the Anacostia & Pacific short line group established a new Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad to provide freight service on the line. It was this group that brought back the orange and maroon paint scheme last used on the Little Joes. They currently operate 182 miles of line, much of it on trackage rights.

Traffic on the South Shore is primarily a pair of power stations that receive unit coal trains and mills that ship pig iron and finished steel. They also carry grain, manufactured goods, paper, and roofing materials.

Major customers include: Alexander Chemical, ArcelorMittal-Burns Harbor, Criterion Catylst & Technologies, GAF Corporation, Five Star Sheets, Foodliner, Maryland Pig Services, Northern Indiana Public Service, NAMASCO/Primary Steel, PSC Metals, Reserve Marine/Transfer Logistics, Rollcoater, Sims Metal Management, U.S. Steel - Midwest, USALCO, and Windy City Warehouse.

Brief History:
The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles' Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.


Item Links: We found: 2 different collections associated with Chicago South Shore & South Bend - Railroad
Item created by: gdm on 2017-10-12 16:26:22. Last edited by gdm on 2019-08-14 10:45:29

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