INDOT-Railroad Project US31_1Did you know that Indiana became known as the “Crossroads of America” in the 19th century, long before interstate highways crossed our state? That nickname actually came from the many railroads that ran across our state.

Indiana’s rail freight traffic has increased considerably in recent years and is expected to increase further in the years ahead. Virtually all rail freight coming from the east coast bound for Chicago must pass through the Northwest Indiana rail corridor. While railroads are an important part of our infrastructure, INDOT does not own or maintain railroads or railroad crossings in Indiana. Instead, we have a multi-faceted approach to coordinating with the railroad companies.

INDOT-Railroad Project US31_2The Utilities and Railroad Division coordinates railroad (and utility) relocation, accommodation, design, and construction issues for the Indiana’s highway projects. Coordination needs are identified in the planning stages of our construction projects, and we work together to resolve any issues. The railroad companies also inform us of their plans to work on at-grade crossings on state highways and what the impact will be to traffic.

These photos are before and after photos of the at-grade crossing rebuild on U.S. 30 near Oak Rd in Plymouth (Marshall County). Our Rail Coordinator spent almost two years coordinating this project, with the rebuild taking place in November 2020.

INDOT-Railroad Project US31_3INDOT also has a Rail Office that is dedicated to preserving and developing freight and passenger corridors throughout Indiana through financial assistance to railroads and port authorities, participation in regional planning groups, and monitoring rail industry developments. Currently, INDOT is working with stakeholders to update the Indiana State Rail Plan.

Provided by INDOT