Happy New Year everyone, although I still have about 6 trips to write up (and upload photos from) in 2018, my little adventure on New Years Day I just need to write a post about a rare opportunity for me to photograph some unique content at home in South Bend.
A few weeks ago the South Shore Line posted a service advisory about a special train they would be running from and to Chicago for fans attending the 2019 NHL Winter Classic that would be played at Notre Dame Stadium. I read the service advisory and unlike simply running bus service from the South Bend Airport as they’ve done since I’ve moved to South Bend they would be using a special event stop at “Westmoor St“. With buses provided by a charter company since Tranpso is fully closed on the Holiday.
Here are two screenshots of the details from the South Shore website:
The part of this temporary schedule that I found most bizarre is that the times for South Bend are from the incorrect timetable, and listed in Central Time (were in Eastern Time), although I know for simplicity sake the South Shore’s “railroad time” is Central Time so they don’t need to deal with time zones for crews and the like.
Anyway, New Years morning came with Louise and I sleeping in, I opened the South Shore Line’s Train tracker on my iPad from bed around 10:00 ET, no sign of a special train on the tracker. We finally woke up around 11:00, I debated biking the couple of miles over to Westmoor Street but with temperatures in the 20s decided just to drive. I leave the house at 11:45 for the 7 minute drive from Colfax Avenue, past the Amtrak Station, before I turn onto Bendix Drive. As I approach Westmoor Street to turn onto it and follow the South Shore tracks along the Honeywell factory where I think the special events station is, I’m surprised to find signs about the road being closed or anything else. Then I notice some buses off in the distance, blocking the westbound lane and bike lane of low-traffic Westmoor Street and a few cars parked (including a police car and vehicle with Municipal government plates) just beyond the buses. I drive down the street and park right behind in this line of cars (blocking a bike lane) and ett out, knowing in typical South Bend small city fashion no one should care that I’m double-parked.
I cross the street and start my photo essay of Westmoor St–(25 Photos).
Within 3 minutes of my arrival (before I have a change to open the train tracker on my phone and see where the train is), I hear a whistle and see the South Shore train approach at 11:56 am a few minutes early. I get some fun photos across the street of the conductors opening the traps between some (not all of the cars) and passengers transferring from the train to buses.
At Noon, after a stop of 4 minutes, I’m standing by my car again (not wanting to give NICTD’s finest any ideas) and get some nice photos of the train leaving the special event station and curving onto Bendix Drive to head towards the airport.
I then get back in the car and watch some of the buses leave in a convoy. The buses needed to wait for the train to leave because the train crosses their route on Bendix Drive heading to Notre Dame Stadium.
I drive home, happy to get a photo essay of this amenity-less special event stop. This station page should get some more (older) photos soon because it will become home to photos I’ve taken on a few occasions of South Shore Line trains merry-go-round route into the airport. I also want to return to get some more photos of the non-existent ‘station’ platform.