John Goldman, President of the Louisville and Indianapolis Railroad recently spoke at the Scottsburg Kiwanis Club dinner meeting a the Quality Inn in Scottsburg to give an update on the railroad improvements taking place. Pictured are from left to right, Kiwanis President David Wilson, John Goldman and Kiwanis member LL Lowry. John Goldman was born and raised in New Albany, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University. Prior to his current position, John worked for the Norfolk Southern Railroad and the Canadian National Railroad.
The Louisville & Indianapolis Railroad is a privately owned short-line railroad that was previously owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Most of the rails had been constructed in the 1930s, with the rails on some sidings dating back to the 1870s. Recently the old jointed rails between Louisville and Seymour have been replaced with continuously welded rail. The new rails will be quieter, cause less wear and tear on the rail joints, and can handle trains that are faster, longer and heavier. Upgrades to the rails between Seymour and Indianapolis are being planned for 2017.
Speeds will increase from 25 mph to 49 mph. The maximum speed through Scottsburg will be limited to 35 mph for the immediate future due to the many railroad crossings in town. The increased weight capability will enable trains to pull cars that are the standard weight for the railroad industry. The trains can be up to 14,000 feet long.
The upgrade is due to be completed by September 1st. The cost of the upgrade has been paid by CSX Corporation. No tax dollars were used to pay for the upgrade.
CSX will route trains from Louisville to Cincinnati via Seymour over the upgraded track. When the segment between Seymour and Indianapolis has been upgraded, CSX will route trains from Louisville to Indianapolis over the upgraded rails, instead of routing the trains through Cincinnati, saving time, labor and fuel.
The trains will be north-bound only for the immediate future. A new, longer siding is being planned for a section between Scottsburg and Austin. The new siding will allow faster trains to pass slower ones, and will make it possible to have both north-bound and south-bound trains.
It is the responsibility of the local and state governments to pay for the cost of installing all gates and lights at railroad crossings. Once installed, it is the responsibility of the railroad to maintain the gates and lights. Trains are required by law to sound their horns when approaching all railroad crossings. If a town pays for gates with double arms at a crossing, it can apply for a “quiet zone” so that a train does not have to sound it horn. However, even if the more expensive gates are installed, there is no guarantee that the permit for a “quiet zone” will be approved.
The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club thanked John for his informative presentation.