The one line of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad system that has a direct connection with Indianapolis was originally known as the Peru & Indianapolis (1849). It entered Indianapolis from the northeast via the then-tiny village ofand followed a south-southwesterly direction to . Once the line extended to Michigan City, it became an important link between Indianapolis and Chicago (1873).
In the course of its long history, it has been identified with several major rail systems, including the Lake Erie & Western, the “Nickel Plate,” the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific, the Norfolk & Western, and ultimately the Norfolk Southern. For many years prior to 1909, theleased the Indianapolis-Kokomo segment as part of its mainline to Chicago. It was abandoned as a through-line after World War II. Some trackage from Indianapolis to Argos continues to provide limited rail service, mainly the hauling of grain.