CKIN Railroad Update
Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad enables Indiana agricultural grains grown in LaPorte, Porter and Starke counties to reach outside markets. Many are feed grain markets in the southeast United States. Plant food arrives in bulk through covered hopper car or tank car and is off-loaded into trucks at facilities and sites in Union Mills, LaCrosse and Malden. Economy in bulk favors the agricultural producer through lower input costs.
Railroads provide the lowest cost for land transportation of bulk commodities. The U.S. Department of Transportation has projected a 66 % growth in total freight traffic between 2000 and 2020.
According to a director of feed grains for a major Class 1 railroad "State highway officials have said the cost of increasing highway capacity is prohibitive, and that railroads will have to take on a bigger share of the burden."
Indiana has 4,255 railroad route miles, 91% of these miles are operated mostly by Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.
The Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad interchanges currently with CSX Transportation at Union Mills. A future interchange with Norfolk Southern is currently underway and will provide a second access point to a competitive Class 1 railroad system.
There are 15 Indiana counties and 86 communities served exclusively by short line railroads like the Chesapeake and Indiana (CKIN). The Incorporated Town of North Judson owns the 33-mile railroad and contracts operations of the railroad line to the CKIN. The Town, local counties, INDOT and Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum sought to preserve the railroad line for current and future economic and tourism benefits.