Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad

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Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad
Indiana Harbor Belt RR logo.png
IHB GP38-2.jpg
IHB number 3801 and 3802, both EMD GP38-2s
Reporting markIHB
LocaleNorthwest Indiana, suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
Dates of operation1896–present
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
HeadquartersHammond, Indiana

The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad (reporting mark IHB) is a Class III railroad[1] in the United States.


The IHB is an independent railroad which is jointly owned by Conrail Shared Assets Operations (51%) and Canadian Pacific Railway (49%). These shareholders trace their ownership stake in IHB to previous mergers and acquisitions in the railroad industry. Conrail's ownership is traced back to the Penn Central Transportation Company and prior to that, the New York Central Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad. Canadian Pacific's ownership is through its subsidiary, the Soo Line, which inherited it from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (also known as the "Milwaukee Road"). Also, the IHB's northern terminus is the Milwaukee District/West Line in Franklin Park.

Route and facilities[edit]

The line comprises 320 miles (510 km) of track—30 miles (48 km) of single mainline track, 24 miles (39 km) of double-main track and 266 miles (428 km) of additional yard and side track—starting northwest of Chicago in Franklin Park, Illinois, traveling southeast around the city to its headquarters in Hammond, Indiana.[2]

The railroad's largest yard is Blue Island located in Riverdale, Illinois.[2] The Gibson Yard, located in Hammond, Indiana, is arguably the largest automobile traffic switching operation in the United States. Other yards include Burnham, Calumet City, Alsip, Argo, LaGrange, Rose, Franklin Park, Whiting, Michigan Avenue, and Lake Front.

Since the 1970s, the IHB has operated an extensive interlocking tower system including: East End, Osbourne, Calumet, State Line, Gibson, Stewart Avenue, Graselli, 55th Street and Argo towers. Switch tenders are located at North Harvey and Columbia Avenue. IHB also took over State Line tower from the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Surface Transportation Board, The Belt Railway Company of Chicago -- Trackage Rights Exemption -- Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company, January 9, 2002
  2. ^ a b "About The Indiana Harbor Belt Rail Road". Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. Retrieved 28 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad
Regional Railroad of the Year
Succeeded by
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway