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Switchyard Park, formerly known as the McDoel Switchyard, served as a hub for railroad operations for a series of companies including the New Albany and Salem Railroad, the Monon Railroad, and eventually CSX Railroad. CSX Railroad made the decision to phase out its services in 2000, and the last train left McDoel Switchyard in 2004.

The City of Bloomington purchased 18 acres of old railroad bed that ran through the Switchyard, and opened the second phase of the B-Line Trail, a paved, accessible pathway that extends 3.1 miles from Adams Street on the north to Country Club Drive on the south, in 2011. The City then set its sights on transforming the former switchyard into a community park.

The city purchased most of the land that was to become Switchyard Park in 2009.The city had a vision for the former railroad property, and collected input from its residents, stakeholders, interest groups, environmental advocates, and neighboring property owners to develop a Master Plan that would guide the development of Switchyard Park.

Construction of the new Switchyard Park began in 2017 with a year-long project to install critical infrastructure: a 40" sanitary sewer line. Weddle Brothers Building Group LLC was awarded a construction contract for Switchyard Park in April 2018, for a total cost of $25,857,200.

Members of the public gathered with elected officials on May 11, 2018 for a ceremonial groundbreaking at Switchyard Park near Grimes Lane. Switchyard Park was officially revealed to the public in November 2019.

Background

Switchyard Park contains 65.29 total acres.

  • 12 acres - abandoned Indiana Railroad corridor, from Country Club Road north to Rogers Street (west of the B-Line Trail)
  • 18 acres - section of B-Line Trail through the Switchyard (purchased and developed before the Switchyard property was acquired)
  • 6.79 acres - "Triple C" property off Rogers Street (future park entrance and parking)
  • .8 acres - "Wee Willies" property (Walnut Street park entrance)
  • 28 acres - Switchyard property purchased from CSX