On the Monon Trail

The Monon was a passenger and freight rail line that operated almost entirely within Indiana, with two main lines that intersected in a small northwestern Indiana town from which the railroad got its name. The Monon’s rail roots stretch back to 1847, and as best as I can tell service ended by about 1970. The tracks between Indianapolis and Monon were later entirely removed. Starting in 1999, about 15 miles of the old rail bed north from Indianapolis began to be converted into a rail trail. The Monon Trail is a very popular place to walk, run, or bike today.

I shot this on my recent South Broad Ripple excursion, looking northbound from where the trail intersects 54th Street. This is right next to Locally Grown Gardens, which I wrote about last week. I photographed this with my Nikon F2AS and my Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm lens on expired Kodak Tri-X.


11 responses to “Captured: On the Monon Trail”

  1. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Wonderful shot and info Jim !!

  2. pesoto74 Avatar

    Very nice tones and detail. I remember seeing a video about the Monon. There was a lot of nice film from the 40’s and 50’s. I wish I could remember who made it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Ted! It did turn out all right, didn’t it. And on expired film!

      I’ve seen some old color slides of the Monon trains in operation; very cool.

  3. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    Nice photo Jim and interesting history. We have a similar place here in Cornwall over a disused railway line called the “Camel Trail ” it’s about
    17 miles long.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Rail trails are a trend! There are many here in the Midwest.

  4. irenadawn Avatar

    Hi Jim – this is Irena Dawn – even though I messed up my gravatar pic today trying to replace it with something more current for the Spring!!! HA!

    Your photo is lovely! It reminds me very much of some of the trails here in Oxford, Mississippi! I used to ride quite a bit through Faulkner’s Bailey’s Woods Trails behind his house Rowen Oak. When the University bought it from the city , they closed off the trails and only use them for walking . Rowan Oak was pretty much accessible at most times as I grew up! We loved to tell ghost stories just as Faulkner and the kids did when he was around right on his front porch. It was scary because the house is haunted – so they say!!! I guess I should save this sort of stuff for my Blog if I every get it fixed. Some of my problem is operating on A MAC , but after being hacked I will never do Windows again.

    Again, enjoyed your art! Be Well!

    Irena Dawn

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m glad you enjoyed my photo. I didn’t have any particular vision in mind when I took it, but then it really turned out. This is actually a crop of the image on the negative.

  5. twalker123 Avatar

    Reblogged this on Indy's Reporter and commented:
    Fresh story about the popular trail. A great nugget of knowledge as a Hoosier. http://www.twalker123@wordpress.com

  6. zorgor Avatar

    I remember hearing trains on the Monon railway as a youth. It runs right behind my grandmother’s house. Well not *right* behind, but close. That would make me think it was still in operation closer to 1980…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Interesting. As somebody who didn’t grow up here, I appreciate your perspective.

      1. zorgor Avatar

        I also remember having to stop for trains at 106th st and the Monon riding in my mom’s car… That was a Corvair — you may be the only other person I know who knows what that was!

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