Indiana Transportation Museum pieces go to auction or scrap

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — More than a dozen pieces of historical railroad equipment formerly owned by the Indiana Railroad Museum will be scrapped if they are not successfully sold during an auction beginning Monday.

According to a listing on the website for railroad equipment broker Ozark Mountain Railcar, 17 pieces of equipment, including two locomotives, a heater car and several passenger cars, will be up for auction beginning at 7 a.m. Sept. 9, with bidding ending at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11. The reserve bid for some of the cars is as low as $950, while the reserve for the locomotives and heater cars is set at $4,800 each. According to the Ozark Mountain Website, whatever is not successfully sold will be scrapped.

According to the website, the equipment is on the grounds formerly occupied by the Indiana Transportation Museum, which was evicted by the City of Noblesville, Ind., in July 2018 following a long and complicated battle between the city and the museum and after a 50-year residency in the city. ITM operated on 35 miles of isolated track, which it did not own, out of the former location. ITM Acting Chairman Les McConnell told Trains News Wire in March that the organization was attempting to find a suitable place for its equipment and that the museum was attempting to purchase a section of track from Logansport & Eel River Railroad on which to operate and store its equipment.

A call to McConnell seeking comment was not returned.

According to the Ozark Mountain website, the equipment remaining in Noblesville is considered to have been abandoned by ITM.

“The equipment being sold is located at property owned by the City of Noblesville, Indiana, known as Forest Park, which was previously leased to the Indiana Transportation Museum (ITM),” the website says. “Pursuant to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order issued in Hamilton County, Indiana Cause No. 29C01-1805-PL-004434 on June 29, 2018, all structures, additions, equipment, or property on the Forest Park premises previously leased by ITM and not removed by July 12, 2018 was deemed abandoned to the City.”

Among the items listed for auction are:
• Former Amtrak, nee Great Northern, steam generator car no. 661, a 1950-built B-unit rebuilt by Amtrak into a steam generator for passenger service. Built as GN EMD F3B no. 434B, the car is listed as being in “original condition.”
• Former Milwaukee Road EMD FP7A no. 96C, a 1951-built locomotive currently painted in Monon Railroad livery for use at the museum.
• Former Milwaukee Road EMD F7B no. 68B, a 1950-built locomotive retired in 1980. The locomotive will require restoration and must be trucked from the property.
• Former Pennsylvania Railroad Railway Post Office car no. 6523, a 1911-built RPO baggage car built by PRR’s Altoona shops.
• Former PRR Pullman sleeper no. 8007, the “Philadelphia County.” A 13-bedroom sleeper, the roller-bearing-equipped car was retired in 1967 after 30 years of service on trains including the “Broadway Limited.” According to Ozark Mountain’s website, the car has not been modified since it’s retirement. Reserve bid price is $1,900.
• Former Santa Fe stainless steel coaches nos. 3083 and 2400. The cars are 1938 and a 1939 respectively Budd-built long-distance coaches, both of which have been used as a parts source for other cars. The reserve price on each car is $3,200.

Other items included in the auction are Milwaukee Road refrigerator car no. 37191; Lake Erie & Western camp car no. X50571; PRR box car no. 497329; Swift Premium refrigerator cars nos. 25011, 25019 and 25023; U.S. Navy boxcar no. 4828; Louisville & Nashville box car no. 112088; a wooden Wabash box car; and a wooden, outside-braced boxcar believed to have been built for the Wabash Railroad.

A timeline for the scrapping of the unsold equipment is not listed.

For more information, visit ozarkmountainrailcar.com.

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