Elkhart Yard was built by the New York Central in 1956, with 15 reception tracks, 72 classification tracks, and 14 departure tracks, handling 2,000 cars over the hump, and 74 trains through the yard (not all of them humped) every day.
Conrail expanded the yard between 1979 and 1982, to a capacity of 3200 cars per day, by lengthening 14 of the classification tracks from 25 cars to 50 cars in length. and adding one reception track and two departure tracks. in 1995, this yard was humping over 2,500 cars per day, but was down to 2000 cars per day by 2002.
In 1995, Elkhart received daily trains (some in multiple) from Avon (Indianapolis), Bethlehem Steel, Blue Island (Chicago), Chicago Junction, Clearing (Chicago), Cicero (Chicago), Columbus, Conway, EJ&E, Fort Wayne, Frontier (Buffalo), Grand Rapids, Kankakee (TP&W), Lansing, Proviso (Chicago), Santa Fe exchange, Selkirk, Stirling yard (Detroit), Streator, IL (ATSF), Toledo, US Steel (Pittsburgh), and Wayne Yard (Detroit), for a total of 28 trains per day, eight of which were Chicago-area exchanges.
The yard is on the south side of the water-level route (now owned by Norfolk Southern), west of Elkhart.