L&I Track History
Louisville and Indiana operates over 106 miles between Indianapolis and Louisville. The majority of L&I’s right-of-way dates back to the earliest years of railroading in the State of Indiana.
In addition to the mainline, L&I also operates on runners and industrial tracks in areas such as Jeffersonville, Clarksville, Seymour, Columbus, Edinburgh and Franklin.
From Jeffersonville to Edinburgh, L&I operates over right-of-way which was initially established by the Jeffersonville Railroad in 1852. The only exception of this is the right-of-way in downtown Columbus, from the bridge over the East Fork White River to the north side of downtown. This portion was realigned in the 1960s to move the tracks away from downtown streets. The tracks originally ran through the area that is now the Cummins Corporate Office Building and it’s parking lot.
The Columbus Runner and L&I’s right-of-way from Edinburgh to milepost QSL 4.0, near the intersection of Hanna Avenue and Shelby St in Indianapolis was originally established in 1847 by the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad. The track originally connected the railroad’s namesake cities. The portion from the southeast side of Columbus to the north side of North Vernon was abandoned by Penn Central in 1976. The southern portion of that track, from North Vernon to Madison is now operated by the Madison Railroad. The Jeffersonville Railroad and the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad merged in 1866 to form the Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis Railroad (JM&I), which would eventually, through several mergers, become part of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The bridge over the Ohio River, between Jeffersonville and Louisville was finished in 1870 by the Louisville Bridge Company, which was a cooperative effort between JM&I and the Louisville and Nashville railroads.