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Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Trips 5/11/2013

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I arrived into the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum parking lot and started to look around.

The tower at North Judson is called Grasselli Tower was donated by the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad.

The History

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum operates over the Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad from its museum location in North Judson, with regular trips to English Lake and La Crosse. The Museum has been preserving railroad history in northwest Indiana since 1988. Starting with little more than a single stub of track and an old steam locomotive, today the operation operates regular excursion trips and has more than 30 pieces of rolling stock on display and in various stages of repair. The collection includes three diesel locomotives, a locomotive crane, several pieces of freight equipment and Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 2789 steam locomotive built in 1947. The general locomotive used by the Museum is Erie Lackawanna Alco S-1 310. The 310 was built by the American Locomotive Company {SN 75121}. This locomotive is powered by a McIntosh & Seymour 539 series engine rated at 660 horsepower. The 310 was built for the Erie and became Erie Lackawanna 310 in 1960. The engine was donated to the museum by Silcott Railway Equipment Company and arrived here at the Museum on April 25, 1997.

Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad.

The Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad operates on 33 miles of trackage owned by the Town of North Judson. The tracks extends from a connection with CSX at Wellsboro, Indiana, over a former Pere Marquette branchline to La Crosse, Indiana. At La Crosse, the line connects with the former Chesapeake & Ohio mainline which runs between North Judson and Malden, Indiana. The CKIN also now interchanges with Norfolk Southern at Thomaston, Indiana. In October 2008, a new connection was built between the C&I and Norfolk Southern at Thomaston.

The CKIN primarily services grain elevators in Malden and Wellsboro, but also delivers fertilizer to La Crosse (Bruder Fertilizer, Inc}. The Malden elevator recently removed its aging concrete silos and replaced them with new steel grain bins. The elevator at Union Mills has added a new half million-bushel grain bins along with higher capacity grain handling and drying system. Both are owned by Co-Alliance, the largest customer for the C&I Railroad.

CSX filed for abandonment of the line on November 3, 2003, approximately a "32.97-mile line of railroad in La Porte, Porter, and Starke Counties, IN {Milepost 212.55 {North Judson} to Milepost 320.92 {Malden} and Milepost CF 0.63 {La Crosse} to Milepost CF 15.23 {Wellsboro}. In the application, CSX stated that a total of 797 carloads were moved on the line during 2002. This traffic included 24 carloads shipped by Bruder, 447 carloads received by elevators and 326 carloads shipped via the interchange by TP&W which had a line east of North Judson.

The Town of North Judson and the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum worked to save the railroad and on May 14, 2004, the surface Transportation Board approved the sale of the line to the Town of North Judson. When acquired, the route from North Judson to Wellsboro was known as the CSX Wabash Subdivision, while the line west to Malden was the Malden Industrial Track.

The grounds

Erie Lackawanna S-1 310.

Emblems of two great railroads.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 2789.

Hoosier Valley Railroad 44 Toner 27.

Erie Lackawnna S-1 310.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Caboose 99.

RPCX RS-1 467.

CSS&SB Flat Car 18010.

Long Island Railroad Caboose 58.

MDT Refrigerator 13385.

Penn Central Box Car 153177.

RPCX RS-1 467.

C&EI Troop Kitchen Car A-1054.

Grasselli Tower and signals.

The view from inside Grasselli Tower.

The track board inside Grasselli Tower.

The engine house at North Judson.

The North Judson is a replica station and has a gift shop and museum inside.

There is a wig wag here at North Judson.

NKP Camp Car X58538.

GTW Caboose 75072.

Metra Electric 1502.

GLLX C-420 850 (ex-GBW 323 ex-LHR 27 ex-IAIS 850 ex-LNAL 850).

Kalamazoo, Lake Shore and Chicago heavy weight coach 950 originally Denver and Rio Grande Western 899.

Hoosier Valley Flat Car X1138.

Coronet Phosphate 0-4-2T 6.

Nickel Plate Road Flat Car No. 2733.

Western Indiana Gravel Side Dump Car.

Switcher 2L.

WCHX Tank Car 1114.

NKP Gondola 45622.

MDT Refrigerator Car 14070.

Wabash Outside Braced Box Car 49114.

N&W Hopper 40639.

N&W Box Car 54880.

NKP Box Car 15979.

The signal shows an approach.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 2789 tender.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend Cars.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 4.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 31.

NKP Baggage/Automobile Car 344.

Erie Caboose C345.

Nickel Plate Road Caboose 471.

Nickel Plate Road Flat Car 1946 as open air car.

Looking east down the tracks.

Looking west up the tracks.

Chicago North Western Box Car 284.

NKP Box Car 15797.

A signal.

Metra Electric 1617.

Our Excursion Train.

Our train for today's trip was Interlake 95 Toner 11, Long Island Coach 2937, MKT 13833 Open Car, E&JE Caboose 184 and Bessemer Caboose 1989.

Interlake 95 Toner 11.

MKT Open Car 13833.

E&JE Caboose 184.

Bessemer Caboose 1989.

Click here for Part 2 of this story