Monon to Lafayette

At Monon (MP 88.4), the route’s direction changes from southeast to due south, on a big curve with a 15 mph speed limit,  where the crossing of the Monon line’s two major routes used to be. The legs north to Michigan City, and SSE directly to Indianapolis are now largely defunct. The depot is on the northeast side of the curve in between the stubs of the closed lines and their crossing. (The depot was in the angles of the Chicago and Indianapolis, and Chicago and Michigan City Lines, southwest of the crossing of the Indianapolis and Michigan City lines, when all those lines existed.) There are Intermediate Signals (MP 88.8), with a warehouse on the east side. The Junction Block runs from MP 86.1 to 90.3, where the Chalmers Block begins. The speed limit is 79-60-50 south of the junction. There is a grade crossing to a business on the east side of the line, a dirt road grade crossing, a  grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 92.8, a grade crossing, a bridge over a ditch, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, intermediate signals, a flat crossing with the TP&W east-west line, two grade crossings in the town of Reynolds with the town on both sides of the line, a spur to silos on the east side,  the 3,600 ft. siding on the east side at Reynolds (MP 95.8), where the speed limit is 50-35 for 0.7 miles.

This is followed by Smithston, a dirt road grade crossing, open fields, Intermediate Signals at Chalmers (MP 102.2), where the town is on both sides, there are two grade crossings, the speed limit is 65-40 for 0.7 miles, the Chalmers Block ends and the Brookston Block begins. There is a cemetery on the east side, then open fields again, large and small grain silos on the east side, a plant-nutrition silo to the east, two grade crossings, the town of Brookston on either side, the 5,470 ft. siding on the east side at Brookston (MP 106.2), with speed limit 40 mph for the length of the siding, extra tracks on the east side, and a grade crossing within the siding, a grade crossing right at MP 106.2, a curve to somewhat east of south, a bridge over a stream, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, totally flat prairie with dirt fields, the 3,655 ft. siding on the west side at Ash Grove (MP 110.2) with a grade crossing within the siding, two dirt road grade crossings, a cutting, two dirt road grade crossings, a road alongside to the east, a grade crossing at the north end of the curve to the southwest at Battle Ground, a grade crossing with the town on both sides, a detector at MP 113.3, a dual highway bridge overhead, and then a curve south-southwest across the Wabash River on a through truss bridge. The speed limit is 45-40 from MP 112.5 to MP 113.3.

After the line crosses the Wabash River, the Brookston Block ends at MP 116.9. There are storage tanks on the northeast side of the line, a road alongside to the southwest, Intermediate Signals (MP 117.8), a deck girder bridge and a dual highway bridge overhead. There is a large yard north of Lafayette, on both sides of the single track line, with that on the west side being between the line and the river. A road passes beneath a through girder bridge. Until July, 1994, the Monon line through Lafayette used to run down 5th Street through the center of town (with a 20 mph and then a 10 mph speed limit), with a station at one of the business premises along the street. Now, however, both line and station have been rerouted to the west side of town, with the line seven tracks wide from the point where the former Wabash line comes alongside to the east, turning southwest to come along the east bank of the Wabash, and turning south past Lafayette (MP 118.1), with a road alongside to the west, a highway bridge overhead,  and Lafayette Passenger Station (MP 120.1), where the main station/depot is on the east side of the multiple-track line at street level, there is a depot and platform on the west side, and a footbridge overhead..

Lafayette is the location of Purdue University, a source of considerable traffic for Amtrak’s trains, at least to and from the north.