Last run on Conrail's Mexico Secondary

Conrail's Mexico Secondary ran from North Manchester to Mexico, IN and was the remnant of an ex PRR line(originally known as the Eel River line) that ran from Logansport to Butler, IN.  By the summer of 1977, Conrail had decided to abandon the line so Manchester News Journal reporter Kim Heusel rode the final run of the line down to Mexico and back.  Kim has been nice enough to grant us permission to use his photos on our website, so take a look back to summer 1977 and the final run on the Mexico Secondary.

 

caboose drop at Mexico, IN

The local, FW13, dropped off its caboose on the main before switching the elevator at Mexico, IN and is pulling around the run around track to couple up and head back north to North Manchester for the final time. Kim Heusel photo with permission

CR 9114 at Roann, IN

CR 9114 is switching the grain elevator at Roann, the only major town between North Manchester and Mexico on the Mexico Secondary, for the final time as it made its way back to North Manchester. Kim Heusel photo with permission

CR 9114 switching at Mexico, IN

CR 9114 is switching some grain hoppers at Mexico, IN on the final run in 1977. The fact that the grass nearly obscures the track underlines why it is being abandoned.

FW13 approaching SR 13 south of North Manchester, IN

As the FW13 nears the end of its journey, we are southwest of North Manchester, IN on the Mexico Secondary as the train approaches the SR13 grade crossing. As you can see, the grass has obscured the rails to the point that it appears the train is running across an open field. Kim Heusel photo with permission

FW13 crossing the diamond at Newton, IN

The FW13 local is running caboose lite down to Mexico, IN as it crosses the diamond with the ex EL(Erie Western at the time of the shot) and the old tower at Newton, IN. The ex EL track still exists today as a very long siding off the ex CR Marion Branch to serve an asphalt refinery in nearby Laketon, IN. Kim Heusel photo with permission

Looking back at Newton tower

After stopping to let Kim get back on the train, he stood on the back of the 9114 and took this shot looking back past the caboose at Newton tower and the home signals for the diamond on the Mexico Secondary. Kim Heusel photo with permission.

Looking northeast at Newton Tower on the Mexico Secondary

In another earlier view from 1976, Kim took this shot looking northeast at Newton, IN on the Mexico Secondary. The single track line crossing the Mexico Secondary in front of the tower is the ex EL mainline, which was single track through here before becoming double track again a few miles west of there in nearby Laketon, IN. If you look closely, you can barely make out the interchange connection track running behind the white signal box. This was an official interchange point prior to the PC merger with the PRR(after PC it was moved to nearby Bolivar, IN). Kim Heusel photo with permission

Looking southwest along the Mexico Secondary at Newton

In an earlier view from 1976, here is Kim's shot looking southwest along the Conrail Mexico Secondary at Newton, IN. The line angled northeast out of Logansport, so its running NE to SW at this location. Today you can't even tell this line ever existed! Kim Heusel photo with permission

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