LIRC named 2019 Short Line of the Year

“Vision, patience, transformation and execution” paid off for the Louisville & Indiana Railroad, which Railway Age named “2019 Short Line of the Year.”

Railway Age, founded in 1856 and railroading’s oldest trade journal, said LIRC culminated a five-year transformation in 2018 by upgrading its entire 106-mile main line between Louisville, Ky. and Indianapolis, Ind. The publication added, “The project is the direct result of a creative partnership with CSX Transportation that began in 2015.”

Railway Age said, “It is undeniable that the upgrade has created a more-efficient railroad that supports both a significant increase in CSX traffic across its route and a monumental commercial opportunity for LIRC.”

Infrastructure improvements include installing all new, Indiana-made 136-lb. continuous-welded rail and replacing a 119-year old bridge across the Flat Rock River in Columbus, Ind. In addition, LIRC renewed crossties, improved embankments, and is building the first of two 10,000-ft. passing sidings that when completed will permit bi-directional running by CSX.

LIRC is a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, which acquired the former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage from Conrail and began operation 25 years ago on March 12, 1994.

To address community concerns during construction, Louisville & Indiana staffers forged strong bonds with local and state agencies, keeping them informed on various project phases and promoting safety through community events and Operation Lifesaver programs that reached more than 10,000 people. A social media campaign allowed LIRC to leverage technology to raise train safety awareness.

Throughout the upgrade, LIRC has maintained 95-percent on-time performance while freight volume grew by double digits rising 12 percent in 2018 and another record year projected in 2019.

To read the Railway Age article, click here.

LIRC railroad crew
LIRC celebrates completion of the new Flat Rock River Bridge | Photo by Wayne Grant