St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern Railroad

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St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern Railroad Company Stock Certificate.

West of Michigan Central crossing, looking east, at Lydick, Indiana, July 11, 1906. This is the crossing between the SJSB&S RR and the LS&MS. The crossing is at the tower in the distance. This was before the SJSB&S was elevated and the bridge (pictured below) was built. Note absence of the South Shore tracks in photo.






Left: A New York Central passenger speeds towards South Bend, Indiana. This picture was taken west of Lydick, Indiana. Date of the photo unknown. The bridge in the background is the railroad called the "Pumpkin Vine", otherwise known as St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern. It followed the alignment west of the Studebaker corridor crossing the NYC Kankakee Line the GTW and NJI&I at JK Tower. You can still see the remnant of the line along the US 20 Bypass West of Mayflower Rd. An electric line follows the old right of way for a while. Harry Zillmer photo. Right: Another look at the old SJSB&S bridge west of Lydick. Eastbound South Shore also noted in the picture.

What a great shot of the bridge. Unknown date, looking to the east with an approaching South Shore ready to come under. George Ussher photo/ Strombeck Collection.

The St, Joseph, South Bend and Southern was originally built by the Indiana & Lake Michigan Railway Company as a portion of its 36.9 mile line between South Bend and St. Joseph Michigan. The line opened on August 4, 1890.

On completion the operation of the line was assumed by the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Rail Road Company. The lease was dated June 4, 1889. The TH&IRR also operated several other lines giving them an unbroken route between Terre Haute, Indiana and St. Joseph, Michigan. October 1890 the line reached a port on Lake Michigan and ferry service was started by the St. Joseph & Lake Michigan Transportation Company. The service connected St. Joseph, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Service was abandoned in 1893.

1896 found the TH&IRR and I&LMRR in receivership and as a result of a foreclosure sale in 1898, the assets and properties of the I&LMRR were taken over by the recently formed St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern Railroad Company. In February 1900, the SJSB&S was leased to the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Railroad (3-Iís) for a period of 50 years, starting March 1, 1900. The railroad was extended from St. Joseph to Benton Harbor, Michigan, adding about two miles.

In 1905 the Michigan Central came calling and came into control of the line by transfer of the lease by the II&IRR. In February 1930 all the property and assets of the Michigan Central came under control of the New York Central. By controlling the Michigan Central, the NYC gained two route between South Bend and Benton Harbor. The Niles Branch proved the more valuable.

Passenger service was offered during the SJSB&S heyday. With three daily round trips between South Bend and St. Joseph. Most made connections at Galien with trains on the Michigan Central main between Chicago and Detroit. By 1919 the service had diminished to just one round trip daily. In 1924 all operations on the SJSB&S were suspended between SSS Junction (west of South Bend) and Galien. In 1929 service on the line was scheduled on an "as needed" basis. November of 1942, both the NYC and SJSB&S filed an application to abandon the 26 miles section between SSS Junction and Baroda, Michigan. Permission was granted in December 1942. The United States War Production Board beat the ICC and requisitioned the rails in the line between SSS Junction and Glendora, Michigan. The actual removal of the track was completed in early 1943. Included was the dismantling of the bridge west of Lydick, Indiana. - (Source: Ghost Railroads Of Indiana by Elmer G. Sulzer) -


Left: Near the State Road 23 crossing. Looking west along the former St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern. To the right side of the photo is the South Bend Tribune warehouse. Right: Looking northeast along the former New Jersey, Illinois and Indiana across the St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern. Today both lines are under NS control.


Left: This section of track was once part of the St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern. You are looking west from Olive Street. Right: 1919 date on a section of the rail.

NS local caboose sitting on former St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern tracks, west of Olive Street near what once was JK Tower.





Left: May 2003, what remains of the St Joesph, South Bend and Southern and the bridge. Removed many years prior, this is the abutment north of the South Shore tracks. The hand painted sign caught my attention and I just had to get a closer look. Right: And, when I say closer look, I mean reach out and touch it. I was standing where the steel bridge girders once sat. None of my railroad experts that I have spoke with can explain the name "Rugby Junction" that has been painted on the concrete. Upon looking at a Indiana Railroad map, dated 1896, at the Library Of Congrss, the area where the line crosses the South Shore and New York Central was labeled "Rugby". There was no town, or community, named Lydick on this map. Could Rugby be the original name of Lydick? Will have to do some research and investigation.


Left: One more picture. This is the south abutment. It too required a closer look and while on top the Norfork Southern ran a train past. That was very nice of them. Right: Being an adventurous type, once on top of the old Pumpkin Vine right of way, I decided to try and walk the line. About 50 yards north of the north abutment, as I stepped around a thicket, I was surprised to find another set of bridge abutments. This was an interchange between the Northern Indiana Railroad, South Shore and the St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern.

Map of the SJSB&S line between South Bend and Baroda. (Click on image to enlarge.)








Taking advantage of some decent December weather, I followed the old line north into Michigan. Parts of the old right of way can still be seen through Baroda. Left and Right above: This depot is on the old line east of Stevensville, Michigan. According to a good freind Dan Lawecki and the Michigan web site, this location was known as Derby. The right of way ran along the east side of the structure. In the picture to the left, I was standing on the former right of way. The picture on the right is of the west wall of the depot.


Left: Another look at the west wall of the old depot. Right: Looking south along the old freight platform.


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