Hohman Avenue (Hammond)
Located just north of the downtown area of Hammond, Indiana, this junction is just a few blocks across the Illinois state line. From I-94, the Bishop Ford (formerly the Calumet) Expressway, exit at Dolton Avenue. Head east on Dolton – it eventually becomes State Street – about two and one half miles. At the Indiana state line, turn left onto the appropriately named State Line Road. Go north a block to Willow Court and turn right. The junction is about two blocks, located under the Hohman Avenue overpass.
Coming from the south on I-94, use the east exit at Sibley Boulevard. Head east on Sibley to State Line Road. Turn left and proceed to Willow Court, turn right and go two blocks to the junction.
Hohman Avenue Now
One of Chicago's major terminal and transfer roads, the Indiana Harbor Belt, crosses Norfolk Southern's ex-NKP main line. The east-west IHB is triple track, although only one of them is considered a main track (the other two being "runners"). The NS line is double track and heads northwest toward Calumet Yard in southeast Chicago. It handles about 25 trains daily. Traffic on the IHB includes CP and CSX run-through trains, as well as CN and NS transfers. All told, it features 25 to 30 trains a day. IHB's Gibson Yard is about two miles to the east, and is exclusively dedicated to auto rack trains. IHB trains from Gibson and East Chicago head west through here toward Dolton and Blue Island Yard.
Hohman Ave. Tower was once simply known as "Hammond," but was renamed to distinguish itself from the "Hammond" location along the Penn Central's line near the lakefront. The stood on this site for many decades, and was a unique piece of architecture. It was closed in April 2001, and the junction is now remotely controlled by IHB dispatchers. The tower stood vacant for nearly ten years while local rail groups attempted to preserve it. Unfortunately, those efforts came to naught, and the tower was demolished in the summer of 2011.
Hohman Avenue in Better Times
At one time, Hohman featured more than 100 trains a day. The double track ex-NYC ex-Michigan Central main line from Detroit paralleled the IHB here, but one of the tracks was taken up in the 1980s and the other is now operated by IHB. Also, trains of the Monon, Erie and Chesapeake & Ohio once passed through the junction, running along the west side of the NS and crossing the IHB and MC. The Erie/C&O joint trackage then crossed NS north of the junction and paralleled it on the east to State Line Crossing. However, the Monon had its own track running parallel to and just west of the Erie/C&O, crossing NS at State Line.
IHB has posted No Trespassing signs on the overpass support columns and in the tower area, but you can see all of the action from Willow Court. Also, a church parking lot just east of the crossing affords a good view of both NS and IHB.
For more on IHB mainline junctions, see Blue Island, Dolton, Franklin Park and LaGrange and Congress Park. See also Calumet Park at South suburbs (various), Gibson at Northwest Indiana (various) and Argo and Chicago Ridge at West and southwest suburbs (various).