The Indiana Rail Road Co. is investing about $1 million this year so trains can move faster and more quietly through the Indianapolis area.
On July 15, the company will increase the speed limit for trains to 30 mph for the portion of its mainline between West Street and Stop 11 Road. Most of that six-mile segment of railroad has had a speed limit of only 10 mph since the railroad’s founding in 1986.
The higher speed limit means trains will take about two minutes, rather than six, to complete at-grade road crossings. Once track improvements are complete, the entire Indianapolis-Bargersville segment will operate at 30 mph.
The company also will eliminate the traditional clickety-clack noise of steel wheels on jointed rail with the installation of continuously welded rail and quarter-mile strands of rail without joints.
This summer’s improvements follow multimillion-dollar investments in new rail, crossties and rock ballast.
The Indiana Rail Road also has completely rebuilt 10 road crossings in Indianapolis: West Street; Bluff Road; Southport Road; and Troy, Epler, Sumner, Hanna and Edgewood avenues. County Line Road and Stop 11 Road will be upgraded by the end of August.
In Johnson County, the company will replace crossings at Smith Valley Road; County Road 144 in Bargersville; Peterman Road; State Road 44; and County Roads 250N, 100N and 100S.
Total cost of the 2014 grade-crossing replacements is $990,000.
The Indianapolis-based company is a privately held, 500-mile railroad that hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products each year.•