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The Monon Railroad, also known as the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railway, operated mostly in Indiana between the 1890s and 1971. In 1971, it merged with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and today is owned by CSX. While mainly a freight line, portions of the Monon did provide passenger traffic. The rail line historically included seven sections, and the portion of the line included in this project is Section 5 which connected Bloomington and New Albany.


The Monon South Line, for purposes of this project, begins at Mitchell in Lawrence County and runs southeast to Borden in Clark County. The approximately 44-mile corridor passes through Lawrence, Orange, Washington, and Clark Counties. While much of the route passes through rural farmlands, it does connect to several varying-sized communities along its route. Some of the larger communities include Mitchell, Orleans, and Salem. Smaller communities include Leipsic, Saltillo, Campbellsburg, New Pekin, and Borden.


Monon - The Hoosier Line
Man with backpack riding a bike on a trail

Several significant local and state recreational properties are within close proximity to the rail line, including the Hoosier National Forest, Spring Mill State Park, Cave River Valley Natural Area, Twin Creek Valley Nature Conservancy, Jackson-Washington State Forest, and Clark State Forest.


While portions of the Monon route have been permanently removed, much of the railroad infrastructure is still in place for this section. This includes the tracks and subgrade, switching mechanisms, signal towers, and other mechanical equipment necessary for the operation of the railroad.


Future regional planning includes linking this corridor to the New Albany Freedom Trail, currently being envisioned to extend the corridor to New Albany and the Ohio River.

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