Up until the 1970s, there were two sets of railroad tracks that ran through South Whitley and Columbia City on its route from Chicago to the East Coast. When the rail line was abandoned, the tracks were removed, however remnants of its existence can still be seen in built-up embankments and the trestle that still stands over Spring Creek on the east side of South Whitley.
The railroad may be gone, but it had a long and illustrious life. Craig Berndt, a railroad historian, will be here at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24 to share the story of the railway that started out as the Eel River Railroad. Berndt is a native of northeast Indiana and has been researching the area’s railroads for several decades. He has authored books about the electric interurban railroad that operated north of Fort Wayne and the trolley car line that operated between Angola and Lake James. He is currently working on two more books.