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 mark IHB
Locale northwest Indiana, suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
Dates of operation 1896–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Hammond, Indiana

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

Corporate ownership[edit]

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.

Route and facilities[edit]

The line comprises 320 miles (510 km) of track—30 miles 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 line's largest yard, Blue Island, is located in Riverdale, Illinois.[2] Other yard in Illinois are Burnham, Calumet City, Alsip, Argo, LaGrange, Rose and Franklin Park. In Indiana, IHBR has yards named Whiting, Hammond, Michigan Ave, and Lake Front, the last in the town of East Chicago. The Gibson Yard, located in Hammond, Indiana, is arguably the largest auto-switching operation in the United States.

From the 1970s and 1990s to the present, Indiana Harbor Belt operated an extensive interlocking tower system including: East End, Osbourne, Calumet, State Line, Gibson, Stewart Avenue, Graselli, 55th Street and Argo towers with switch tenders at North Harvey and Columbia Avenue in Hammond. They later took over State Line tower from the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad.


The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Police Department consists of 10 sworn and dedicated Officers, who are directed by Chief of Police Ray Ramirez. The IHB Police Department operates under the authority of both state and federal statutes. The IHB Police serve to protect IHB employees, property, and assets on or about IHB property in the states of Indiana and Illinois.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

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