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Located at 245 W. Grimes Ln., the former McDoel Railroad Switchyard served as a regional hub for railroad activity and commerce from 1892 until 2000, when CSX Railroad made the decision to phase out its services. The last train left the switchyard in 2004.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation and city officials held a Switchyard Park groundbreaking at the B-Line Trail trailhead at Grimes Lane on May 11, 2018.

Plans for Switchyard Park include:

  • Pavilion - 11,000 square feet of rental banquet and festival indoor/outdoor space. Garage doors along the length of the building raise and lower for open air events.
  • Stage - outdoor performance stage and Grand Lawn that can accommodate 5,000 to 8,000 people
  • Community Gardens - 39, 4' x 8' raised garden beds available for rent
  • Courts & Fitness - Four pickleball, three bocce ball, and one basketball court plus nine fitness stations
  • Splash Pad - water spray features with shaded seating and a restroom/changing area/picnic shelter nearby
  • Playground - Hillside slides, climbing net, balance beam, interactive music play equipment, and face-to-face parent/child swings
  • Skate Park - 12, 580 square feet with 30 different obstacles/events
  • Dog Park - two fenced areas (large dog and small dog) totaling 4.7 acres
  • Trees - 600 trees and 2,000 reforestation seedlings

The existing limestone building at the current B-Line Trail trailhead at Grimes Lane, a former railroad maintenance office, will be renovated to serve as a City of Bloomington Police Department substation.

Switchyard Park construction will be substantially completed, and facilities open and operational, by November 2019. Final completion, including seasonal plantings, is scheduled for May 2020.

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

Switchyard Park Project Timeline

  • May 11, 2018 - Switchyard Park groundbreaking
  • May 2, 2018 - Weddle Brothers Bulding Group LLC receives official notice to proceed with Switchyard Park construction
  • April 24, 2018 - The Board of Park Commissioners awarded the construction contract for Switchyard Park to Weddle Brothers Building Group LLC for a total cost of  $25,857,200.
  • April 16, 2018 - Bloomington Redevelopment Commission and City Controller approve the award of the Switchyard Park construction contract to Weddle Brothers Building Group LLC.
  • December 4, 2016 - Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton announced at a press conference that the first construction project to take place at Switchyard Park is a sanitary sewer line being installed by the City of Bloomington Utilities Department. The 40" sewer line is a crucial piece of infrastructure for the surrounding area. Installation began in spring 2017.