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This led to the New Albany & Salem Rail Road's (NA&S) organization in the spring of 1847 (made official by Indiana Governor James Whitcomb on July 31st as a recognized corporation) to connect New Albany with Salem.
Its creation was also thanks, in part, to the state which passed an act earlier that year on January 25th stipulating a railroad should be constructed between those points in place of a wagon road.
To procure a connection with the C&W, here again the NA&S elected to utilize street-running operations along Lafayette's 5th Street. Hilton notes, the difference in the railroad's profile could be witnessed from atop the grade at a location known as the "Tree of Hope," three miles south of Bainbridge.
If one were to gaze southward from this point they could easily decipher the railroad's undulating, rugged profile while the northward view would have shown a relatively unencumbered grade.
What began as the New Albany & Salem was initially conceived only to complement waterborne transportation between the Ohio River and Lake Michigan.
This concept ultimately failed as the iron horse proved superior to all other modes of interstate transportation.
As part of the agreement, NA&S would also gain trackage rights into the Windy City.Had this been accomplished the railroad would likely have carried a far different, and much more profitable, future than the one in which it played the role of inconsequential regional dependent upon interchange traffic.Much of this came from its Louisville & Nashville connection at Louisville, the powerful southern Class I which went on to acquire the Monon in 1971.As the project pushed north, Bloomington was reached on October 11, 1853.The next blunder was a failure to complete a branch started from Gosport to Indianapolis (this grade was later purchased, and completed, by a Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary), which would have provided a more direct line to the state capital rather than what wound up being a southeastern branch from Monon, Indiana.
As an additional incentive, Indiana later authorized it could build anywhere within the state, as long as the initial segment was finished.