History of the Mew Albany and Salem Railroad Passenger and Freight Railroad Station, Gosport Indiana

The New Albany and Salem Railroad was officially formed on July 31, 1847. The stated purpose of the company was to connect New Albany, located on the Ohio River and then the largest city in Indiana, with Salem, a town 35 miles to the north. Construction of the road began in New Albany on May 3, 1848.

Long before the track passed through Salem, James Brooks, President of the railroad, planned to continue the line to Lake Michigan. He obtained an amendment to the original charter permitting the New Albany and Salem to extend its tracks to any point in the state of Indiana. The railroad, completed on June 24, 1854, connected Michigan City on Lake Michigan to New Albany on the Ohio with 288 miles of track. Major stations were located at New Albany, Orleans, Bedford, Bloomington, Gosport, Greencastle (where the line crossed the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad), Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Bradford (now Monon), and Michigan City.

Even though the New Albany and Salem Railroad connected the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, the line was never a financial success. It passed through no important cities other than New Albany, and the small agrarian towns along the route failed to attract industry. The Panic of 1857 eventually led to receivership, foreclosure, and a transfer of the property on 24 October 1859 to the newly founded Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad Company. There was brief prosperity because of the north-south movement of troops and supplies during the Civil War, but between 1868 and December 27, 1872, there was a second receivership, and a new company emerged: the Louisville and Nashville and the Southern Railways purchased more than 87% of the stock in the company, and finally in 1971 the railroad merged with the Louisville and Nashville.