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Home<Chicagoland<South Shore Line<11th St-Michigan City

11th Street-Michigan City was the stop that makes the South Shore Line the last real street-running Interurban left in America until this station configuration closed effective Saturday, May 1, 2021 (last trains stopping in the early hours of this day, trains listed on the Friday schedule) to allow the double track project to begin and have the station built into a modern station with high-level platforms and a 3 level parking garage. This stop is in the middle of a two mile stretch of track where South Shore lines run down the middle of 11th and 10th Streets (trains enter a private ROW briefly when they transition between streets and also cross the Amtrak-owned Michigan Line tracks, used by the Blue Water and Wolverine Services) from Sheridan Avenue to Michigan Blvd through Michigan City. NICTD at one point did have plans to move the South Shore Line to a private ROW farther away from downtown (to provide faster and safer service), this project would have combined 11th Street and Carroll Avenue into one station away from downtown.

Funding constraints and the desire of Michigan City to continue to have a downtown station have changed this proposal to simply make 11th Street one-way for vehicle traffic, seperating the railroad from vehicle traffic and adding a second South Shore Line track, along the exisiting Right-of-way of 11 Street. See the Double Track NWI Project Website. This project will also rebuild 11th Street into an ADA compliant high platform station. Trains take this stretch of line very slowly at about 10 mph with motor vehicles running in both directions alongside the track, unimpeded by fencing, similar to a streetcar. This project is nearly fully funded with Indiana Governor Holcomb coming to Michigan City on May 18, 2017, riding a special train from 11 Street to Carroll Avenue (becoming the first Indiana Governor in memory to visit the SOuth Shore Line) and signing a bill committing State Funding to double-track the South Shore line from here to Gary. The South Shore Line enacted a Full Funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration on January 8th 2021, and the station closing to allow utility relocation to being on April 30, 2021.

The stop itself consists of trains stopping in the middle of 11th Street just west of Pine Street and near Franklin St. The mix of rail and traffic signals require all trains to pause and come to a complete stop at the station, including the few express trains that bypass 11th Street. Here a traffic single stops westbound traffic on 11th Street and passengers descend using one or two doors of the train down and onto the street. The platform is the north sidewalk of 11th Street that has a small tactile warning strip that is a bit larger than a curb cut. A small parking lot (capacity 30 cars, it's free and the South Shore's website has a note that it fills quickly) serves commuters along with a single green large waiting shelter. Inside are green benches and TVMs. Until streetscape improvements by the city of Michigan City in 2015 the station just had a few brown 11th St. signs, and simple lighting on the telephone poles that hold up the South Shore Line's catenary wires. Downtown Michigan City Streetscape improvements have since brought decorative black lampposts, along with a brick stone wall between the sidewalk and parking lot with black lettering that reads Michigan City 11th Street Station and is backlit at night.

Along the western side of the parking lot is the former two story station building that was built in 1927 and has a nice white facade with columns. The station was closed by the Chicago & South Shore Railroad on November 11, 1987 when the railroad filed for bankruptcy. It has sat boarded up ever since. On my 2011 visit a sign above the boarded up entrance had Michigan City Station beneath the South Shore Line logo. As of 2016 there is a For Sale sign in the window. Until doing internet research for this summary, your webmaster thought the building was just another abandoned building in Michigan City and not a historic depot, so photos specifically of the historic depot facade are lacking. In April 2021, just before the station closed, the building's boarded up windows had recieved a paint job and it looked cleaner than ever, the historic facade will be used as part of a project that will turn the building and adjacent main parking lot into a 3 level parking garage including a small waiting room on the ground-level.
Photos 1-20 taken on 27 October, 2011, 21-73: 10 Ocotober, 2016; 74-104: 3 June, 2017 on a visit by car; 105-114: 2 February, 2019; 115-174: April 26, 2021

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Home<Chicagoland<South Shore Line<11th St-Michigan City
South Shore Line

Last Updated: 2 July, 2017
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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