Five pieces sold at Indiana auction; others may get a second chance

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This Milwaukee Road F7, in Monon colors, went unsold at the abandoned equipment auction in Noblesville, Ind.
Ozark Mountain
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- The majority of the pieces of rolling stock from the former collection of the Indiana Transportation Museum went unsold at auction this week, which could lead to some of them meeting the scrapper’s torch in the near future.

Steve Cooke, deputy mayor for the City of Noblesville, Ind., which now owns the equipment, says only five pieces out of the 17 pieces of rolling stock up for auction through railroad equipment broker Ozark Mountain Railcar were sold between Monday and Wednesday. The pieces which were sold in the auction included: U.S. Navy boxcar No. 4828; Pennsylvania Railroad boxcar No. 497329; Milwaukee Road refrigerator car No. 37191; wooden outside-braced boxcar No. 2, which is believed to be of Wabash Railroad heritage; and PRR Railway Post Office Car No. 6523.

Among the former ITM pieces which were not sold are former Amtrak, nee Great Northern, steam generator car no. 661; Milwaukee Road EMD FP7A no. 96C, which currently wears Monon Railroad livery; Milwaukee Road EMD F7B no. 68B; PRR Pullman sleeper no. 8007, Philadelphia County; and Santa Fe stainless steel coaches nos. 3083 and 2400. According to Ozark Mountain’s website, the pieces of equipment which were not sold would be scrapped. Cooke confirmed as much, but said a timeline for the scrapping of equipment in the city has not yet been determined. “We’re being transparent and honest that there’s going to be scrapping,” he says.

Cooke, however, said some of the equipment, could get a second chance.

The cars were, according to a court action, “abandoned” by ITM when the museum was evicted from its yard at Forest Park in Noblesville following a long and complicated battle between the city and the museum. Any car not removed by the eviction date in July 2018 was deemed “abandoned.” Cooke says the city of Noblesville was left with around 60 cars following the eviction. Since then and through two auctions, he says, dozens of cars have been successfully relocated. “The city, in total, has helped save 34 railroad cars and enabled them to be safely moved out and find new homes around the country,” Cooke says. “I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do in saving as many railcars as we can and our biggest priority is cleaning out Forest Park and cleaning it up.”

Cooke says the city plans to clean up the park and repurpose it for use as a tourist attraction and southern terminal for non-profit tourist line the Nickel Plate Express, which operates between Noblesville and Atlanta, Ind. The Nickel Plate Express uses a former Erie Mining EMD F9 and former Santa Fe Hi-Level passenger cars and began operation in 2018. As part of the cleanup and repurposing of Forest Park, Cooke says, the city plans to keep several railcars in Forest Park for static display. He also says the city could lease other pieces of equipment from the former ITM collection to the Nickel Plate Express.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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