11th Street
11th Street station – passenger shelter and sign prior to the closure in May 2021
General information
Location114 East 11th Street
Michigan City, Indiana
Coordinates41°42′43″N 86°53′52″W / 41.71187°N 86.89773°W / 41.71187; -86.89773Coordinates: 41°42′43″N 86°53′52″W / 41.71187°N 86.89773°W / 41.71187; -86.89773
Owned byNICTD
PlatformsSidewalk north of the tracks (two high-level side platforms under construction)
Tracks1 (second track under construction)
ConnectionsMichigan City Transit
Construction
Structure typeStreet running (ground-level station under construction)
ParkingYes
Disabled accessStarting 2024
Other information
StatusTemporarily closed
Fare zone8
History
OpenedMay 1927
Rebuilt2021–2023 (planned)
ElectrifiedYes (1500 V DC)
Passengers
201583 (average weekday)[1]
Services
Preceding station NICTD Following station
Beverly Shores South Shore Line Carroll Avenue
Willard Avenue
Closed 1994

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.

History

A train at the station in 1981
A train at the station in 1981

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[2] 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.[3] 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,[4] 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,[5] was demolished in January 2022.[6]

Operation under NICTD

Chicago-bound train approaches 11th Street station
Chicago-bound train approaches 11th Street station

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.[citation needed]

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.[7] According to the preliminary plans,[8] 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.[9] 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.

Current status

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.[10][11]

Bus connections

Michigan City Transit (at Franklin/11th Street intersection)

References

  1. ^ "2018 State of the System" (PDF). Metra. August 2018. p. 185.
  2. ^ Economic Adjustment Study: Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad Corridor, Final Report; Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District,; March 1980; pg 1
  3. ^ Economic Adjustment Study: Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad Corridor, Final Report; Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District,; March 1980; Appendix A
  4. ^ Jeff Tucker, "What's next for station?", May 15, 2002, news story cached by railfan.net
  5. ^ "The Works of Arthur Gerber-Transit Stations". Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  6. ^ "News photo: South Shore station falls in Michigan City". Trains News Wire. February 1, 2022.
  7. ^ "South Shore Line Station Economic Impact on Downtown Michigan City study" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on July 21, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  8. ^ "South Shore Preliminary Downtown Reroute Concept Michigan City, IN" (PDF). NICTD. Retrieved December 28, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Jacobson, Amanda (September 9, 2011). "Large crowd turns out for South Shore open house". La Porte Herald-Argus. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Andrew Steele, Andrew Steele (April 13, 2021). "South Shore 11th Street station to close for Double Track project". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  11. ^ "Michigan City 11th Street Station and Campus Design". NICTD. Retrieved February 21, 2022.