|Location||114 East 11th Street|
Michigan City, Indiana
|Platforms||Sidewalk north of the tracks (two high-level side platforms under construction)|
|Tracks||1 (second track under construction)|
|Connections||Michigan City Transit|
|Structure type||Street running (ground-level station under construction)|
|Disabled access||Starting 2024|
|Electrified||Yes (1500 V DC)|
|2015||83 (average weekday)|
11th Street is a temporarily closed rail stop in the central city neighborhood of Michigan City, Indiana. It serves the South Shore Line commuter rail system and is one of two active stations in Michigan City, the other being Carroll Avenue station. It is located adjacent to the location of the historic 11th Street Station of the former Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad station (now demolished), which operated the station from 1927 until 1987. Prior to the May 2021 closure, the station was composed of a passenger shelter and a sign on the northwest corner of East 11th Street and Pine Street; boarding and alighting was done from the street itself. A more modern station with two tracks and high-level platforms is currently under construction.
The Chicago, South Shore and South Bend was one of the last interurban railroads to operate profitably in the United States. Aggressive management, led by financier Samuel Insull, reconceptualized the South Shore as the linchpin of a public transportation network operating throughout the industrialized Indiana Dunes region of Indiana. Insull interests built the 11th Street Station in central Michigan City in May 1927 as a pioneering piece of multimodal public transportation infrastructure. The South Shore had affiliated with several regional bus lines, and the 11th Street Station was conceived as a waiting area point where system users would transfer between a bus and an electric train.
After operating relatively successfully for some decades, the South Shore entered bankruptcy in the 1980s. Electric train service was reorganized under the umbrella of the publicly funded Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), but affiliated bus service had long since ceased. The South Shore Line closed the 11th Street station building in November 1987, but its NICTD successor-in-interest maintains train service to the street adjacent to the station. The station building itself, designed by Insull's staff-architect Arthur U. Gerber, was demolished in January 2022.
Until April 30, 2021, the trains stopped near the original station, opening the door on the north side of the track. To make up for the closure of the station, NICTD set up a small passenger shelter at the end of the adjacent parking lot, near the 11th Street/Pine Street intersection. As the rule of thumb, conductors only open the doors in the first two cars.
Michigan City and NICTD discussed the possibility of moving the tracks off the street, onto a less intrusive alignment. A series of studies concluded that the 11th Street alignment is the most viable and cost-effective option, especially in terms of transit-oriented development. According to the preliminary plans, the alignment was planned to be double-tracked and moved half a block (in most places) south of its present location.
There were considerable concerns among Michigan City residents about this plan, particularly those who would have to be relocated. Other possible alignments existed that would also have separated the NICTD tracks from a grade widely used by motor vehicle traffic, and a public hearing was held in September 2011 to discuss these possible alignments. However, the alignment adjacent to 11th Street was chosen, turning 11th Street into a one-way street with the two tracks running adjacent to the street.
As part of the South Shore Line's double tracking project, the station closed on May 1, 2021 for the two and a half-year duration of the project. The station is planned to be rebuilt to include high-level platforms at approximately the same location as the old shelter but extended along 11th Street in either direction to be two blocks long, between Franklin and Cedar streets and crossing Pine and Spring Streets. Additionally, a multi-story parking and retail facility will be built, located directly north of the west end of the platform between Franklin and Pine Streets.
Michigan City Transit (at Franklin/11th Street intersection)