Passenger Memories, My Trip To Chicago

My name is San Jacobs. I’ve lived in South Florida for many years as a reporter and since then an editor of one sort or another at the Miami Herald. However, I grew up on the north side of Indianapolis and I always lived and/ or went to school near the Monon tracks.

The first place I lived around the end of WWII was just north of Fall Creek. The tracks ran behind the house on the other side of the street, so I got use to seeing trains at a very early age.

Later we lived in Broad Ripple and for a time I went to School 80, which was also across the street from the Monon tracks. Every day at about 12:45 p.m. we would be on the playground after lunch and a southbound passenger train would go by. Everybody ran over to the side of the playground to see it even though it looked the same every day.

Still later I went to North Central High School which also was close to the Monon tracks.

My biggest thrill came when I was 10 and my mother took me to Chicago on the Monon. I remember that we left from Boulevard Station on 38th Street at about 8 a.m. and got to Dearborn Station just before noon. We wound up on the track right next to one of the famous Santa Fe trains, although I don’t remember which one.



 The one thing I remember from the trip north was that the tracks in the town of Monon* went right down the center of the street. I didn’t think I had ever seen anything like that before. We came back the next evening. I remember that we had dinner on the train and made a point of ordering soup to see if it would spill. I didn’t.

By the time I was at IU in the early 1960s, passenger service between Indianapolis and Chicago had been canceled but there was still one train a day each way on the other line that went through Bloomington. A lot of my friends who lived in the Region would take it home for vacations.

I remember that the northbound train left Bloomington at about 12:15 p.m. and that people would complain if their professors wouldn’t cancel classes, which meant they had to wait until the next day. (I guess students didn’t routinely cut classes those days like they do now.)

*Editor’s note: We believe that Mr. Jacobs was speaking about Monticello and not Monon. The tracks did run through the center of the street in Monticello.

Sam Jacobs as written in The Hoosier Line, Volume 28, Number 2

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