As a Cultural Resource institution, the South Shore Line Museum Project (SSLMP) explicitly recognizes three primary areas of responsibility: Heritage Preservation, Research and Stewardship, and Interpretation and Presentation.

Heritage Preservation

The SSLMP is a collections-holding institution and clearly understands its opportunities and obligations to collect, protect, and preserve both tangible and intangible South Shore Line heritage. It does so according to the standards and practices of professionally managed history museums and historic preservation. It adheres to the standards and guidance set forth by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and related guidelines published by the National Park Service.

Research and Stewardship

As a Cultural Resource Management institution, SSLMP embraces the best current scholarship in a variety of fields. History of Technology, History of Science, Business and Economic History are examples. Other fields include Conservation and Restoration, methods of exhibit and presentation, and in general those fields that support the goals of the SSLMP.

The South Shore Line Museum Project recognizes its role as one of the primary stewards of the South Shore Line’s history and understands its responsibility to preserve artifacts, data, practices, understandings, and any salient aspect of its heritage. SSLMP especially embraces the need to remain flexible and open to stewardship opportunities that may open up in the future.

Interpretation, Presentation, and Education

One of the SSLMP’s most important missions is to understand South Shore Line history and heritage in a variety of contexts, interpret that history and heritage in ways that a variety of audiences would find interesting and useful, and to use the most effective presentation methods available.

Both Interpretation and Presentation will be different for different audiences. SSLMP does not embrace the traditional “Authoritative” or “Expert Status” approach of conventional museums and cultural resource management entities. Instead, it will invite audiences (ranging from school groups to families seeking a pleasant engagement with regional history) to explore the rich and complex topics in ways they find personally rewarding.

Educational opportunities—ranging from the conventional to the innovative—will be a primary objective of the SSLMP. The real function of an institution like this is not to gather and preserve “old stuff” or to present a “standard” (and often stale and one-sided) version of history, but to offer insights into the many pasts and bring into conversation whatever lessons and values might be useful going forward.

CLS/CSS Roster & Betterments Ledger

Chicago & Indiana Air Line Railway, The Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend Railway Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad Complete Roster and Betterments Ledger: 1903-1984

Linked below is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet of collected data on the cars of South Shore Line. The collected data is a complete roster of South Shore Line railway and highway equipment from the railway’s first operations under the corporate title Chicago & Indiana Air Line Railway in 1903 until the sale of its successor company by the CSX Corporation in 1984. The roster is color-coded by eras and car types. The listings for each equipment group includes the betterments made to each individual piece of equipment and their retirements.

The source for the material was the South Shore Line AFE book and equipment ledger. The AFE book was complete through 1947; the equipment ledger was complete through the end of CSX Corporation ownership. The AFE book and equipment ledger were purchased through a consignee of railroadiana located in the Midwest who was not associated with the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad or any other affiliated company.

There is no other claim as to the accuracy of the data; it is presented here for the entertainment of those folks who find the minutiae of railroad equipment fascinating. Those who find errors that they wish to see corrected should contact the webmaster for this site, but be prepared to bring evidence sufficient to justify the corrections that they seek.


The South Shore Line Museum Project is a continuing effort to bring a substantial cultural heritage tourism project to Northern Indiana.

The initial phase of the South Shore Line Museum comprises FOUR PRIMARY COMPONENTS: