Trail follows old railroad line in South Whitley

The Butler Branch, better known as the Eel River Railroad, connected Logansport and Butler in the state of Indiana. It roughly followed the route of the Eel River between the two towns. In 1901, the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the railroad line. At one point it was known as the Vandalia Railroad, as well as other names at different points in time. The line came through the town of South Whitley in Whitley County where I took the photo. I was standing on Calhoun Street, which the railroad once crossed. As can be seen in the photo, this portion of the old railroad bed is now part of a developing trail system (at least I think it is developing) known as the Eel River Trail. Off in the distance, there is a beautiful old wooden trestle still standing that crosses a creek (see an earlier post of mine). The Eel River Railroad came through South Whitley at an angle and eventually crossed the old Nickel Plate Railroad near State Road 5. The Nickel Plate line is now operated by Norfolk Southern. The Eel River Railroad was eventually totally abandoned by 1977.

Nickel Plate RR in South Whitley 006

Portion of the old Eel River Railroad in South Whitley.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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