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"Proud Past, Bright Future" The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad

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Program 125
"Proud Past, Bright Future" The Indiana Harbor Belt

In existence for over one hundred years, the Indiana Harbor Belt was originally a switching railroad that served many Chicagoland manufacturing industries. Today, it is a completely modern operation that offers freight trains from nearly every Class One railroad in the region a bypass route around Chicago.

This program follows the Indiana Harbor Belt's mainline from Franklin Park to the Port of Indiana. Also included are a behind the scenes look at the Harbor Belt's Hammond shops, Gibson Yard and Blue Island Yard. Also included is an interview with IHB superintendent Chuck Allen.

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Harbor Belt's locomotives populate the tracks outside the railroads Hammond roundhouse.

EMD SD's such as #2921 are some of the most recent acquisitions by the railroad.

The 2921 is easing onto the roundhouse turntable, one of the oldest operating tables in the U.S.

Located west of the offices and shops is Gibson Yard. Gibson is used primarily for auto rack cars.

Gibson is equipped with remote track switches, operated by a switchman using a hand-held control.

Blue Island features a hump yard for classifying trains. Retarders, visible just ahead of the auto rack car, control the speed of the cars rolling down into the yard.

Adding an unique twist to the Harbor Belt's operation is the Port of Indiana. Primarily populated with steel mills, the Port generated about a trainload of freight each day. The Port doesn't open for the shipping season until April, but fishermen populate area as soon as the ice is off the Lake.

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