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Cabooses are not a Memory at
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
Nickel Plate Road Caboose #471 built in 1962. It arrived
at the HVRM on July 8, 1995
Written by Todd
|The Chesapeake & Ohio K-4 Class Kanawha #2789 was the
beginning of the museum. The 2789 a 2-8-4 type was
built by American Locomotive Works in 1947. 2789 was
taken out of service by the C&O in 1955. In 1961,
through efforts of the Miami County Steam Association, engine 2789 was placed on
static display at the city park in Peru, IN. 2789 was
relocated to North Judson, IN in 1988 and resides at the Hoosier Valley Railroad
Museum. Efforts are slowly progressing to repair and
restore the engine to operating condition.
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, Inc., is a 501-
(C)(3)nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring together people who are
interested in maintaining the history and heritage of railroading.
HVRM members in front of C&O #2789
(#2789 is a 2-8-4 restoration in progress built in 1947)
From left to right: (kneeling) John LaOrange
(HVRM President), Chuck Nuss , Steve Newland, (standing) Mark Knebel, Tom McKee
(behind Mark), Harold Lambirth, Jason Jordin, Dave Cook, Tom Tittle, Bob
Alberts, Alan Franson Joe Kingsbury. On the locomotive, left side from the
bottom: John Shultz, Cheri Shultz, Jeff Kehler. Derick Thomas, on the
locomotive, right side bottom: Kyle Flanigan, Todd Flanigan, Micheal Tognetti.
Since 1988 the concept of building a working
railroad museum is becoming a reality. Track and
switches have been re-laid on the abandoned right-of-way of the Erie Railroad
through North Judson.
former C&O railway shanties have been relocated to the museum site.
A 60’x100’ building donated by McGill Mfg., was relocated and reassembled
in 1994-95. This now serves as the museum’s back shop. A new 24’x50’ depot was constructed in 1999.
|The HVRM maintains a
working museum and display site that was developed from donated railroad
equipment, locomotives, and rolling stock. HVRM had
operated on a small section of track (approximately 3-4 blocks).
The museum had always hoped to someday go the 16
miles southeast on the J&K Line to Monterey, IN. In
2003 our hopes were lost as the J&K line filed for abandonment and the rails
pulled up. Through generous donations, the museum
received approximately 1 mile of the J&K Line (formerly known as the Erie).
uses this for caboose rides. A 2nd mile was
donated without track. We hope to relay this some day.
not a hope, but a dream became reality. After
the J&K stopped operations CSX chose to do the same with their track into North
Judson. If this happened the museum would become
isolated and the rich railroad history that built North Judson would be gone. HVRM did everything it could to save the line.
Fortunately, the LaPorte County Co-Op in Malden and the town of North
Judson also wanted to save the line. Through combined
efforts, we pulled it off! The town of North Judson now
owns about 33 miles of former C&O track from North Judson to Malden; and from
LaCrosse to Wellsboro. The line is now in service. The
Chesapeake and Indiana was the chosen operator.
Repair work on Bessimer caboose wheels
|The 9 mile line from
North Judson to Lacrosse has no current customers. HVRM
is planning to use this portion of the line this summer for it’s caboose train
We have come a LONG way since 1988.
The new depot is amazing. It has hundreds of old
photos and displays. The depot also has a very nice
C& O #2789 in front of the HVRM depot
Work at HVRM is slow at times, but very steady. This past year we finished a WWII troop sleeper car. Several bunks and other WWII artifacts make a unique
display. It also houses an N scale layout of the 4
railroads that interchanged in North Judson (NYC, PRR, Erie and C&O).
A 60’ X 60’ addition was finished on the front of
the shop. A new switch was completed that will lead to
the rail storage yard and the 100’ turntable that is awaiting installation.
There is always something to do and see at HVRM. Our operating season is May thru September, with special
events throughout the year. Special outings can be
arranged (scouts or group outings, etc.) The museum is open on Saturdays
and Sundays. Come out and take a historic caboose ride.
For more information go to:
Written by Todd
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