Facebook Page

A Trip to the National New York Central Museum and much more! 5/16/2013

by Chris Guenzler

I checked out of my motel in Bryan, filled the rental car with petrol and went to McDonald's for hot cakes and sausage for breakfast then drove to US Highway 6 and made my first stop just west of Edgerton, Ohio.

Independent Locomotive Service SW1200 9, nee St. Louis-Southwestern 1064 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1964 at the grain elevator. I then drove west to Indiana and to the Amtrak station in Waterloo.

The Waterloo Lake Shore and Michigan Southern station built in 1883.

Norfolk Southern 9432 East went through Waterloo as Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited was on approach.

The Lake Shore Limited arrived.

The Norfolk Southern freight heads eastbound. From here I went west to Interstate 69 and south on Indiana Highway 8 into Garrett, my next stop, home of the Garrett Historical Society. Founded in 1875 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the town was named after John Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio. A major point on the Chicago Division of the B&O, Garrett was at one time the home for car shops, a large roundhouse and engine facility, and was the main passenger station between Willard, Ohio, and Chicago.

Pullman 18 roomette sleeper 1938 "City of New Orleans" built by Pullman-Standard in 1942. It was sold to Illinois Central and rebuilt as a railway post office car.

Chesapeake and Ohio caboose 3250 built by International Car in 1969.

CSX GP40-2 6141, nee Baltimore and Ohio 4242 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1975.

The restored Baltimore and Ohio freight depot, built in 1900, has a very nice museum inside, but was not open this early morning.

The park next to the depot has the Baltimore and Ohio gate tower which used to be on the west side of Randolph Street between main tracks 1 and 2, eastbound and westbound. Twenty-four hours a day the gate keeper raised and lowered the gates across Randolph as trains were made up, as they moved back and forth in the yards and as they passed through town.

From there I drove to Topeka, Indiana and my next stop.

The Topeka Wabash station, built in 1893, which houses the Topeka Area Historical Society Museum.

Wabash caboose 2773 built by the railroad in 1945 and is on long-term loan from the New York Central Museum in Elkhart.

The station and caboose.

Concrete whistlepost.

One last view of the Topeka Wabash Station. From here I took County Road 72 and then found something else.

An Amish buggy passed me on that road. West of Millersburg, I stopped where the road crossed the Norfolk Southern mainline.

Canadian Pacific Railway 6042 West at Millersburg. From here I made my way to Goshen.

In Goshen, I passed this Amish buggy as I proceeded to the next stop.

The New York Central Goshen freight house built in 1910. From here I made into Elkhart and my main stop of the day in Indiana.

The National New York Central Museum

The National New York Central Railroad Museum, located in Elkhart, Indiana, recaptures the glory days when America's railroads were symbols of progress and goodwill ambassadors across the country. The Museum was founded in 1987 and is an ever-growing preservation site of both local and national railroad heritage pertaining to the New York Central System. The New York Central was once the second-largest railroad in the United States, with 11,000 route miles of track in eleven states and two Canadian provinces. Elkhart is a natural home for the Museum: the New York Central's Robert R. Young Yard (now Norfolk Southern Railway's Elkhart Yard) is the second-largest railroad freight classification yard east of the Mississippi River. Just as when the railroad first arrived in Elkhart in 1851, Elkhart functions as a vital link in the chain connecting the Atlantic Seaboard with the Midwest and beyond. The Museum's goal is to tell the story of the vast New York Central System, and its predecessors and successors into the modern era.

The sign out by the street.

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific observation car 454 "Minnesota", built by the Budd Company in 1937. It was rebuilt into an instruction car in 1965 and is painted as New York Central "City of Elkhart" to represent similar Budd built observation cars that were an integral part of the post-war Great Steel Fleet of streamliners.

The offices I would be in after my next picture.

New York Central wooden caboose 19211 built by the railroad in the 1910's. I went into the offices and paid my fare but had to excuse myself to go outside for some more pictures.

Norfolk Southern 9218 West with a coal train which included BNSF power in the consist.

The Elkhart Lake Shore and Michigan Southern (later New York Central) station built in 1900 used by Amtrak's Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

Two more views of Norfolk Southern 9218 West running through Elkhart. I returned to the office before I toured this unique museum.

Views inside the "City of Elkhart".

They have very nice display cases in this museum.

Views of these displays.

There is a small model railroad here.

The walls have many great displays.

Map of the New York Central System showing the 20th Century Limited.

This map shows the route of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern.

The steam engine in the wall.

There is a New York Central timeline above the display cases, so always look up when you are in a museum.

New York Central dining car china.

Picture of the Elkhart passenger station.

Locomotive bell and locomotive headlight.

Early locomotive in America.

Another view of the steam engine in the wall.

The New York Central System emblem.

More New York Central displays.

New York Central lanterns.

New York Central System Freight Station sign.

A few more paintings and pictures can always be seen in this museum.

Tools of a railroad track worker.

Three more display cases.

Baggage cart display.

More New York Central dining car china.

The famous New York Central front and rear of their trains.

This one-twelfth scale model of a New York Central 4-8-2 was built by Richard Stolzefels from original blueprints. It was one of the museum's first acquisitions.

The Mohawk was a famous New York Central Steam Engine.

Cases of model trains.

Tools of the track workers.

Click here for Part 2 of this story