6E: Downtown Railroad Relocation
Railroad tracks routinely cut off near-eastside neighborhoods from downtown, and as downtown grows, the they inhibit north-south connections within downtown. Support the City’s efforts, as identified in the Indy Moves transportation plan, to relocate freight railroad to an upgraded and completely grade-separated Belt Line rail corridor. Support reuse of the existing rail right-of-way for a linear park and greenway that connects the GM Stamping Plant redevelopment, White River State Park, the Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, Eli Lilly Campus, Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, and Mass Ave.
Value to the CommunityIn addition to public safety concerns about the materials transported by rail through Indy's highest density neighborhood and employment center, the railroad tracks inhibit connections to eastside neighborhoods. By using the existing Belt Line that wraps from the GM Stamping Plant south and east before reconnecting near 21st Street and Sherman Drive, Indy can eliminate dozens of at-grade crossings, allowing trains to move through Indy more quickly, safely, and quietly.
Value to the Hospitality IndustryThe CSX mainline through downtown runs adjacent to Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, presenting a significant public safety hazard to some of the largest gatherings of people in the entire state. Relocating it provides an opportunity to connect major tourism venues and drivers with a high-quality green corridor that extends east into neighborhoods and west to the White River.
- August 2021. Amtrak Proposes Airport Station. As part of its national expansion plans, Amtrak has proposed a new station at Indianapolis International Airport. This new station may be needed before downtown tracks could be relocated.
- October 2019. Thoroughfare Plan Update. The Metropolitan Development Commission incorporated the Belt Railroad line, where the downtown tracks would be relocated to, into its Thoroughfare Plan. This technical step helps insure new development provides ample distance from the line to accommodate a double-track mainline.
- November 2018. IndyMoves Transportation Plan. Indy's long-range transportation plan, Indy Moves, was adopted by the Metropolitan Development Commission and includes railroad relocation, the first such adopted policy on the goal.