Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad IHB #357

Nature of Firm

The Indiana Harbor Belt is the largest switch carrier in the United States, with 54 miles of mainline and 266 miles of yard and siding track operating between Gary, IN and Franklin Park, IL. IHB serves 160 industries. Products include steel, petroleum, chemicals, manufactured goods and food products. IHB’s Blue Island Yard is located in Riverdale, IL. The yard is an automatic switching hump yard with 44 classification tracks. IHB also serves stations in Portage and Burns Harbor, IN as a line-haul carrier.


The Indiana Harbor Belt as we know it today was formed in 1907. The Chicago Junction Railway, a New York Central affiliate, had leased the East Chicago Belt Railroad and the Terminal Railroad in 1898, and had bought the Chicago, Hammond & Western Railroad in 1896. In October of 1907, the ECB's lease was dissolved, and it then acquired the CJ's interest in CH&W and assumed control of the Terminal Railroad as well. The new company was named the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. Throughout the 1970s and 1990s to the present, Indiana Harbor Belt operated an extensive interlocking tower system including: East End, Osbourne, Calumet, Stewart Avenue, Graselli, 55th Street and Argo towers and North Harvey switch tender. They later took over State Line tower from the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad.

Company Information

Company Affiliationn/a
Interchange PointsProviso and Dolton, IL
Agreement TypeSwitch Carrier
Information Exchange MethodRailSync