Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis

cera_state Despite its namesake city, the Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis is a 62 mile shortline operating well north of Indianapolis on ex Nickel Plate Road trackage between Kokomo and Hartford City, Indiana. First organized as a shortline in 1989 through Norfolk Southern's Thoroughbred Shortline Program, the line has changed hands over the years -- first Railtex, later RailAmerica, and currently Genessee & Wyoming. The road handles agricultural products, chemicals, paper, scrap, and waste, interchanging with Norfolk Southern at Marion and the Winamac Southern Railway in Kokomo, Indiana.


CERA trackage map / web



Summer 2016

cera_lagn1While visiting friends in suburban Indianapolis in April, I wandered north as far as Kokomo in search of shortline action and discovered two operations in one location -- the CERA and the WSRY. Although nothing was moving that day on either platform, the vast network of active and abandoned switching tracks that run all over the city of Kokomo forms an incredible patchwork of industrial sidings, diamond crossings, and protective signals -- all of which was worth the drive. Kokomo: Yet another example of the high water mark of American midwest production, with its supporting railroad infrastructure, now receded to a much more modest scale of railroad operations. I bet this place was humming 50 years ago.

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2016-10-16