Monday, October 7, 2013

Indianapolis Part II or the Railway Interchange and Other Things

Al writes...


Last week was the semi annual railroad trade show in Indianapolis. Several years ago they decided to combine the 3 separate technical shows (track, mechanical and C&S) into a single event.  The first several of these combined shows was held at the same time as the "Really Big" railway trade show in Berlin -- Innotrans.  ( Some of my photos from the outdoor displays at Innotrans 2010 are available here.  I had to miss the 2012 show for health issues. ) As I always had duties at the Innotrans show I hadn't been to one of these combined North American shows before. The North American guys have now decided to hold the event in odd numbered years to avoid Innotrans which is always held on even numbered years. Judging from the number of languages I heard it seem it was a great move to attract overseas customers.

There really wasn't any big news at this show except for Cummins announcing its entry into the diesel locomotive reengining business. They are developing a "drop in " module that includes the engine, alternator and electrical systems including dynamic brake.

This module is rated at 4300 HP.  Cummins plans to produce a demonstrator locomotive with one of these packages based on an ex UP SD 90MAC next year.

If you've never been to a trade show it is always amazing the variety of things that are displayed.

You can discuss purchasing most anything from locomotives,

to freight car trucks,

from tampers,

to various types of signals and grade crossing protection.

From personal protection equipment,

to horns for your new locomotives,

or wiper blades for flange lubrictors.

One very interesting and slightly surprising display was this turnout with tongue points designed for use in street trackage.

Even our friend Dave Kloke & Co. was there to help you lease or purchase a replica steam locomotive, or contribute to the Lincoln Funeral Train project.

I couldn't find anyone willing to lease a replica wood interurban car, perhaps they were up at the APTA show in Chicago, or is this a business opportunity?

Its common at trade shows to have a drawing for a prize, based on business card left at the booth (these are used to build a customer data base). The nicest prize I saw was this original painting featuring the NS heritage units.

Just to remind myself why I retired I stepped into the TTCI booth with my former co-workers, I don't miss doing booth duty!

A couple of other things of railroad interest around Indy included this tower at the east end of Union Station that was visible from my hotel, but not from my room.

Active towers are becoming rare, and it looks as if this could be one but its not listed in the active interlocking towers data base. Perhaps one of our readers can give us some details.

Also present in downtown is Union Station, reportedly this was the first "Union" station in the world dating from 1853.  The second station head house dates from 1888 and is of a Richardsonian Romanesque design by Thomas Rudd.

The train shed is a more "modern" design dating from about 1920.

But the real fun is that much of the train shed has been converted to a hotel. The train shed features are very evident in the lobby.

There is also some nice original railroad art about as well as the stock prints that are so common.

But the real treat is that some of the rooms are located in heavyweight sleepers.

Although the cars appear to have greatly modified interiors, the exteriors appear to be sound and authentic.

Finally I was surprised to find a people mover in the Medical center section NW of downtown.

I'll have to return to explore this and other areas of Indy.

1 comment:

David Wilkins said...

The tower was designated "IU Tower" as in Indianapolis Union Tower. It was active around 2000 when I took Amtrak's short-lived "Kentucky Cardinal" service to Chicago. The PRR line to Louisville approaches IU tower from the south, forming one leg of a wye. Back in passenger days, the PRR installed a series of special crossovers to allow trains to and from Louisville to enter the train shed's outer tracks. When I rode Amtrak, those had been torn out, so we had to do a backup move using the freight bypass tracks, backing past the tower and then pulling into the platform.