Residents who have lived in Franklin for more than 70 years remember the trains that drove through downtown streets.
They whistled like steam engines as they carried passengers to and from Indianapolis on an electric transit system that used to travel throughout the state. The tracks were built in the heart of Franklin in 1911, and the city’s train station used to be at Main and Madison streets.
But many have forgotten the trains, their tracks and the electrically charged lines since the system was shut down and the tracks were removed in the 1940s.
Then workers began digging up Main Street to replace the storm drainage system below the pavement.
Since they started digging up the street, about 10 rail ties from the interurban transit system have been found under Main Street between Jefferson and Madison streets, street commissioner Ron Collins said.
The ties are 8 to 15 feet long; and, as they find them, construction workers are taking them out of the ground and storing them, Collins said.
Finding the ties is slowing down the construction process because workers have to take time to dig them out. Removing the ties has taken a total of about half a day’s work, Collins said.
The construction crew also found three rails, but Collins said they are not sure if the rails belonged to the interurban transit system or if they were part of an old cistern, or a type of water storage tank. The crew is storing the rails with the ties.