What's Left In Indiana

Among the large group of people known as "railfans" (and it is a much larger group than most people realize), many members have a particular area in which they are most interested. Large numbers of fans specialize in locomotives and can name every variation in every model ever built. Other fans know a great deal about the signaling systems that control train movement. Pick an area of railroad operations and it has its own following among railfans. Interurbans and traction in general are now a much smaller, almost forgotten part of railroading and therefore have a smaller fan base.

Because most interurban lines have been gone since the 1930's they fall into another category, railroad archaeology. There are many people that consider themselves railroad archaeologists and some of them are interested in the remnants of the traction lines. Larry Zimmerman was one of those people. He spent many years driving the state of Indiana photographing old railroad buildings and making note of evidence of the former interurban lines.

Larry was the long-time secretary/treasurer of Railfans of Indianapolis. In 1989 Larry became deeply involved with "Doc Blackburn's Hoosier Traction Meet" and handled most arrangements for the meet until his death in 2003. This list was developed for those attending the meet. Larry's original notes show that he began preparing this list by at least 1992 and first published it in 1994. After publishing his first list Larry began to receive a great deal of help from other Traction Meet attendees, notably Howard Pletcher of Fort Wayne.

It was decided that the list should be maintained and updated as a tribute to Larry and as a "thank you" for the research he performed and his willingness to share his knowledge with other rail and traction fans. Also, the list was published here on the internet in hopes that this will encourage people interested in traction history to seek other remnants that might not appear on this list.

Updates and unlisted discoveries can be sent to Ralph Bell, 920 Waring Dr E, Indianapolis, IN, 46229-2859. Send email to or to . Any additions or corrections would be greatly appreciated. However, we ask that you check the list carefully to see if your discovery is listed before you send it along.

Updated 9/22/05. Additions since the last full update in September of 2005 are indicated in green print. Items that are known to have been lost are indicated in blue but will remain on the list so that people will know that they are gone. Perhaps someone will find that they still exist but that we have the wrong information.

Updated 9/22/10. Additions/corrections made today are indicated in this pinkish print. Items known to have been lost are still indicated in blue.

Larry worked 39 years for Allison Gas Turbine as an engineer and he wrote this list as an engineer would. It is not in a narrative style. The list seems somewhat terse as he used many abbreviations to conserve space. The next three paragraphs are Larry's explanation of the list.

"This listing covers depots, waiting shelters, substations, office/shop buildings, carbarns, preserved rolling stock and carbodies (even if out of state), bridges, bridge abutments, piers, culverts, retaining walls and easily visible/accessible right-of-way. Modern day historical markers and street signs are also included. Entries are grouped alphabetically by company name before the advent of the Indiana Railroad System. Predecessor company names and dates are also listed.

"The dates shown for the companies are the date of incorporation, charter or organization and the date of abandonment, sale, reorganization, name change or lease to another company.

"The numbers in parenthesis refer to depot number as listed in the book, Indiana Railroad Depots: A Threatened Heritage by Dr. Francis H. Parker, Ball State University, 1989."

If you plan to review Larry's list only on your monitor you will want to continue on to the TABLE OF CONTENTS for the html pages. These pages are easier to read on the screen and they also include some photos of the remnants as they appear today. The html pages also include some vintage photos and postcards showing the remnants before they were remnants. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the html section is the liberal use of hyperlinks that allow you to move around quickly within the list.

The current edition of the list is called version 3.00 as shown under the title at the top of this page.  The decimal portion will change each time updates are made to the list and posted to the internet.  The "3" will become a "4" at the time of the next HOOSIER TRACTION MEET in September of 2006 when the major revision of the list will take place.

Many people are notifying us of unlisted remnants and many of these discoveries are on private property. Therefore, AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: Trespassing is not being advocated and is discouraged. If you are not satisfied to read about them here and possibly see a photo here, and viewing them from public property is not possible, ask for permission from property owners.