The Fair Train is a popular part of the Indiana State Fair. Operated by the Indiana State Transportation Museum on little-used track (originally on the now-a-bike-path Monon and it was quite a thing to see trains roar across the bridge over Kessler Ave.* Now it runs on another bit of trackage a few miles to the East that passes on the opposite side of the Fairgrounds from the Monon), it makes frequent runs from a station in Fishers to the State Fairgrounds and back, all day every day, during the Fair. There's plenty of parking at the Fishers end of the run, too.
...But recently, the normally pretty-good folks at Citizen's Gas replaced a gas main under the tracks at 56th St. Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, the outfit actually responsible for the tracks suggested 25 feet was the proper depth; Citizen's Gas smiled and laid the line seven feet down. The track operator promptly banned trains from operating on that stretch of track.
Today, the two organizations, having been induced to break the impasse, will be doing a "deflection test:" drive a train over the gas main/rail crossing and see what bends.
* That's the bridge that caused the change to a bike path; the city had been paving under it for over 80 years...and despite a sign giving the clearance, it had been a long time since anyone actually measured the height. A truck that was just a few inches under that limit went zooming under the bridge one day, and stuck. Even moved the bridge a little. The cost and trouble to replace the bridge was well beyond any practical figure, so hello, rails-to-trails. I believe the scrap iron prices of the rail paid for the much lighter bridge that now makes that crossing. Interestingly, IMPD drives over it sometimes when closing the trail for the evening. Is the bridge rated to carry a Crown Vic? I dunno. Hasn't fallen yet.
4 weeks ago