Facebook Page

French Lick, West Baden & Southern Railway 4/12/2007

by Chris Guenzler

We pulled into the French Lick, West Baden & Southern parking lot.

We found GE 80 ton switcher 6 idling. I walked into the station and found Alan Barnett, Executive Director and General Manager waiting for us. He showed how this common carrier handles their freight business, which consists mainly of soybean meal and petroleum products. After talking, we went out to the switcher, on which Alan would give us a tour of the railroad. We left and crossed the highway, then passed a small yard. We started out on the former Monon Railroad but moved onto the former Southern Railway tracks built in 1907.

A view looking back.

Heading out of the small yard across the highway from the station.

Our train began our trip out of French Lick.

We crossed one of the many grade crossings here in French Lick.

The train ran by the boyhood home of famous basketball player Larry Bird, who played for the Boston Celtics.

The train crossed last grade crossing in French Lick.

Our train curved left as we started to climb up a 1% grade for five miles toward the tunnel leading into the Hoosier National Forest.

Through the trees as we climbed the grade.

Taking a right hand curve.

We rolled forward on another short piece of straight track.

Approaching another curve.

Ready for another piece of straight track.

The train ran by a rock outcropping.

Rolling southwest up another piece of straight track.

It was after one of these curves that we spotted the Burton Tunnel.

We rolled closer to it.

We slowly made our way through the 2,200 foot tunnel, and on the other side, Alan stopped the locomotive. Chris Parker and I climbed off the engine for a Photo Runby.

The engine backed into the tunnel. I relocated for a different view.

Our engine then came forward and came to a stop. We reboarded and continued toward Cuzco.

A view looking back at the Burton Tunnel.

The engine ran down the tracks taking a curve followed by short straight stretch of track.

Our train ran by another rock outcropping.

The train went by Parson Falls.

Our train was ready to take a slight left hand curve.

We started down another piece of straight track.

The engine took the next curve.

We were rolling down the rails towards Cuzco.

Once out of the forest we passed along side of some fields.

The train crossed a large field as we rolled along.

Our engine came into Cuzco. Here we all climbed off of the engine to take some pictures of our special engine.

Views of 80 Toner 6 at Cuzco.

A building at Cuzco.

One last picture of our engine at Cuzco. We reboarded for the return trip to French Lick. Our engine climbed back up to the Burton Tunnel and then started down the grade to French Lick.

On the way we passed 1850 log cabin. Alan then demonstrated the grade by letting our engine roll downhill which was a very interesting way to see the effect of the grade on a train.

All too soon, we reached the French Lick station, ending a very interesting trip on the French Lick, West Baden and Southern. Now it was time to start looking around the yard.

There is a trolley that the museum uses.

Pluto Water boxcar NADX 2688.

CW&C caboose 10.

French Lick, West Baden and Southern 2-6-0 208, formerly Angelina and Neches River 208 from Texas.

Mobile & Gulf 2-6-0 97.

Indiana & Ohio Gravel 0-4-0T 11.

French Lick, West Baden & Southern Emblem.

Passenger Car.

Cars used on their passenger trains.

Another switcher.

Chicago and North Western RDC 400.

Algiers Winslow and Western RS-1 4.

Switcher 119.

Switcher S4 101.

Yard scenes.

Monon Caboose 81532.

Chicago and Eastern Illinois caboose 1953. After our photographs, Chris and I returned to the station and said goodbye to Alan, thanking him for an excellent ride and visit to the French Lick, West Baden & Southern Railway. We drove back to US 150 to Paoli, where we turned north onto Indiana 37 and stopped at a Walmart for discs for my camera. North of town, we paralleled the former Monon Railway

We stopped to take a photograph of a pair of former Monon Railway semaphores. We continued north along Indiana 37 to Martinsville, where we spent the night at the Best Western. We checked in, I checked e-mail and then called it a night. Tomorrow would be the Beech Grove Shop Tour.