This website will provide the citizens of Columbus and Bartholomew County with the latest Columbus Railroad Project information. The website goal is to enhance communication with the public, improve public safety and help mitigate traffic issues.
As the economy grows in our country, so does the need for business and industry to look for the safest and most economical way to transport goods and supplies across our nation. Oftentimes, this mode of transportation is train transportation. Our community is impacted by an increase in train travel across its major intersections, with the most impacted intersection located at State Road 46 and Indiana 11, the main entrance point to our city for many travelers and commuters.
Louisville and Indiana Railroad owns the railroad tracks that cross Columbus. They leased the use of the tracks to CSX Railroad, which controls the amount and size of trains utilizing them. Due to an increased need by their customers, CSX is investing $100 million to make improvements to the railroad line between Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana. These improvements include a solid, welded track and improved crossings to allow for more trains, heavier trains and faster train speeds along this corridor, except through Columbus. The 20 MPH speeds will remain due to the tight curves in Mill Race Park.
Improvements are complete with the exception of the replacement of the Flat Rock River Bridge. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2018 (weather permitting) at a cost of $12 million paid by the railroad. All of these improvements will give CSX the ability to run longer and heavier trains through our city. As a result, by the end of 2018, Columbus could face a significant traffic delays due to increased train traffic.
In 2016, The City of Columbus engaged an engineering firm to complete an impact study and provide possible solutions to the impending increased train traffic. Multiple overpasses were considered. Part of the process also included working with the Indiana Department of Transpiration (as both State Road 46 and Indiana 11 are owned by the State of Indiana) to establish a feasible timeline and funding options. An overpass solution was identified (click here to see a concept of the overpass). In July 2017, an announcement was made that a $30 Million overpass was going to be built. The State of Indiana, City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, Louisville & Indianapolis Railroad and CSX came to together to fund this large economic development project. Construction is expected to start in 2019.
Please continue to visit this website for additional railroad updates and project progress.