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South Bend Airport is a commuter train station on, and the eastern terminus of, the South Shore Line. Servicing South Bend International Airport, the station is 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of the central business district of South Bend, Indiana. In November 1992, the Airport station replaced the South Shore Line's former terminus at the South Bend Amtrak Station.[1][2] The new station was constructed at a cost of $1.8 million and dedicated on November 20, 1992.[3]

South Bend Airport 20 airtransportation.svg
South Bend Airport train station 2004-12 (8873641690).jpg
A South Shore Line train at South Bend Airport (2004)
Location4485 Progress Drive
South Bend, Indiana
Owned byNICTD
Platforms1 island platform
Tracks2
ConnectionsLocal Transit TRANSPO
Construction
ParkingYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Fare zone11
History
OpenedNovember 20, 1992
ElectrifiedYes (1500 V DC)
Services
Preceding station NICTD Following station
Hudson Lake South Shore Line Terminus
New Carlisle
Closed 1994
interior view of the island platform of the South Bend Airport train station (2012)

It was built at the end of what started out as Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad's freight spur [4] NICTD and South Bend International Airport have considered moving the station to the west side of the airport (complete with a new track),[5] but no concrete plans have been made as of February 2010.

The station has a ticket office and a waiting room. Because the station is incorporated into the South Bend International Airport building, riders can also take advantage of its extensive lounging areas, shops and a meditation room.

Until November 27, 2009, most eastbound weekend South Shore Line trains terminated at this station. Since then, those trips have been cut in half, creating much larger gaps in service, to improve on-time performance for South Shore trains, which had suffered because the section of the line between Michigan City and South Bend is almost entirely single-tracked. Thus, if the westbound train got delayed, the eastbound train got delayed even more because it needed to wait for the westbound train to clear the track.[6]

Contents

ConnectionsEdit

BusEdit

TRANSPO

  • Route 4: Lincoln Way West/Airport

Coach USA

  • Tri State/United Limo routes

Greyhound Bus

FutureEdit

There is a possibility that the station may be relocated or replaced.

Plans have been made to explore relocating the station to the west end of the airport in order to potentially cut travel time along the South Shore Line by as much as 10 minutes by having trains approach the airport from the west with a shorter traveling distance and a decreased number of grade-crossings.[7][8][9] Plans to construct a rail spur to this area of the airport exist with the aim of also fostering the creation of an intermodal rail-air freight hub at the airport.[7][8] This plan has faced local opposition from residents of the Ardmore neighborhood of South Bend, which the new tracks would travel through and displace as many as forty households.[10] Locally preferred alternatives have been presented to this plan, including one in which a new station would instead be located on Honeywell Corporation property at Westmoor Street west of Bendix Drive (along existing South Shore Line tracks).[10][9]

In 2018, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg advocated to locate a new South Shore Line station in South Bend's downtown.[7] Such a station would be located near Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium and the Union Station Technology Center[7][9] Buttigieg hoped that such a station could be completed by 2025.[8] It is likely that, if constructed, a downtown South Bend station would supplant the existing airport station.[8]

In 2018, mayor Buttigieg ordered a study of five possible locations for a new station serving South Bend.[10] The five locations being explored are the aforementioned west airport relocation, downtown station, and Honeywell Corporation sites as well a site in the southwest quadrant of the U.S. 20 and U.S. 31 interchange which is also the location of a proposed South Bend Chocolate Factory tourist destination, and the existing South Bend Amtrak station.[9][11] The study also explored in impact of retaining the existing station instead of constructing a new one.[11]

The study found that, indeed, any relocation would decrease the travel time, with the fastest train to Millennium Station if the existing station is retained being 115 minutes, whilst all other station options would have the fastest train to Millennium station be between 82 and 84 minutes.[11] The fastest train from Millennium Station if the existing station is retained will be 118 minutes, whilst for all other options it would be between 90 and 92 minutes.[11]

The costs to build each new station option were estimated by the study. A new west airport station was found to cost $29.5 million, a downtown station was found to cost $102.3 million, the Honeywell Corporation site was found to cost $23.9 million, the chocolate factory site was found to cost $44.3 million, and the Amtrak station was found to cost $31.7 million.[11]

The potential ten-year economic impact of each station option was studied. Retaining the existing station could still generate $39 million in economic impact. The new west airport station could generate $83.8 million, a downtown station could generate $415.3 million, the Honeywell Corporation site could generate either $171.5 million (if mixed-use development is built around it) or $132 million (if industrial development is built around it), the chocolate factory site could generate $144.4 million, and the Amtrak station could generate $139.7 million.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wieland, Phil (November 18, 1992). "South Shore gets new cars". The Times. Munster, Indiana. p. B3. Retrieved November 25, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  2. ^ http://southshore.railfan.net/ss-hist.html
  3. ^ Wieland, Phil (November 21, 1992). "New train terminal could have folks heading east, young man". The Times. Munster, Indiana. p. A2. Retrieved November 25, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ "At South Bend, trains now go to the Michiana Regional Airport, using an industrial spur which had been upgraded and extended. The airport is northwest of downtown South Bend."
  5. ^ Poparad, Paulene (June 30, 2008). "100 years ago today South Shore interurban began passenger service". Chesterton Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  6. ^ NICTD March 2009 Board Meeting Minutes, p. 7
  7. ^ a b c d Parrott, Jeff (August 18, 2018). "South Bend mayor's push for downtown South Shore station raises new questionsSouth Bend mayor's push for downtown South Shore station raises new questions". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Booker, Ted (January 3, 2019). "St. Joseph County plans to study options for South Shore rail line to west side of airport". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Steele, Andrew (April 21, 2019). "Five options for new South Shore station in South Bend". Northwest Indiana Times. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Booker, Ted (January 3, 2019). "St. Joseph County plans to study options for South Shore rail line to west side of airport". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "South Bend Station Alternatives" (PDF). AECOM. April 19, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.

External linksEdit