Author Topic: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM  (Read 27572 times)

indrr

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Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« on: March 16, 2005, 09:01:02 AM »
An article in yesterday's Noblesville Ledger states that the some members of the Noblesville Park Board are calling for the removal of the Indiana Transportation Museum from its location in Forest Park.  Apparently, it is too messy, and people using the trails in the park are scared to go by the stored railcars.  The article follows:
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Train-Museum Pact on the Line

Rusted trains, scattered parts makes train museum an eyesore, says park board member.

By Diana Lamirand
Diana.Lamirand@TheNoblesvilleLedger.com
March 15, 2005

NOBLESVILLE -- Rusted train cars sitting along tracks in Forest Park and train parts scattered inside a deteriorating stockade fence that surrounds the Indiana Transportation Museum's (ITM) nonpublic area are junk, say some Noblesville Parks & Recreation board members. They want the equipment removed or the museum evicted.

The train museum takes up about 10 acres of parkland that have become such an eyesore, parks board member Pat Reed said, that he thinks the parks board should evict ITM if it hasn't cleaned it up after an annual inspection this summer. ITM rents the land for $1 a year.


"It's been long enough and bad enough that I don't want to put up with it anymore," Reed said at a March 7 park board meeting.

To the dedicated ITM volunteers who restore, repair and maintain the two engines, 10 cars and about 38 miles of the Nickel Plate Road railroad route that runs from Indianapolis to Tipton, the stored parts they use to maintain the railroad and train cars are historically preserved artifacts.

"The Indiana Transportation Museum, in the opinion of the (parks) board, has not been a good steward of the property," said Don Seal, city parks director. "We've been telling them for 10 years to get in there and clean the place up.

"If you're going to store junk, you need to at least keep your junk organized."

David Wilcox, museum board chairman and professional engineer, admits that the nonpublic area may "not be pretty to all eyes," but most of what is stored there is used to repair and maintain museum property.

"There are things we have done that they (the parks board) don't know about," Wilcox said of efforts made in the last few months to throw away scrap metal and other things. "We're trying to be good stewards of our museum operation."

Park-trail users have complained about unlocked train cars that have been parked along the railroad tracks, Seal said, after ITM volunteers pulled the cars onto the tracks this winter to replace two track switches. Residents expressed trepidation about using the trails, Seal said.

"If they stop using sections of the trail because they fear bums, derelicts or mischievous kids. . . that's not a good situation," Seal said.

The cars were locked, Wilcox said, but vandals have broken into them. ITM has had trouble with kids trespassing on museum property, vandalizing train cars with graffiti and paintball smears and trying to light fires inside the cars.

"It's not the homeless," Wilcox said. "It's kids."

ITM volunteers and trail walkers have called police, he said, when they've seen kids near the train cars. But when police arrive, the kids are gone.

Though the high-voltage lines that operate a trolley inside Forest Park are disconnected, Seal said, he is concerned that someone might get hurt.

He recalled how 15-year-old Ricky L. Glenn of Noblesville died June 28, 1991, when he and four other juveniles climbed atop a rail car at a closed section of ITM. The teen fell onto a 580-volt trolley power line, according to a news report in the Indianapolis Star.

Once ITM fires up its locomotives in the next few weeks, Wilcox said, the rail cars will be moved. A cleanup for the public area of ITM is scheduled in upcoming weeks, where volunteers will do landscaping, remove dead plants and install 25 interpretive signs for the equipment on display, among other things.

"This is one of the major operating museums in the country," David Wilcox said.

Seal said Wilcox is supposed to present a plan at the April 11 park board meeting on how ITM will fix clean up the rusting equipment that is left standing around the parkland. On Monday, however, Wilcox said he thought that plan was due in May. The annual inspection is to be done in June or July.

In October, the state presented the local museum with a $130,632 Transportation Enhancement Grant to rehabilitate two of its Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway stainless-steel coach cars. The museum owns 14 of 30 lightweight railroad passenger cars built in 1937 and 1938 by Budd Corp. in Philadelphia, Wilcox said then.

Eight of the cars were in service during the train's travel season last year, and part of the grant money is to be used to revitalize a ninth car for service during this year's train-operating season.

In 2004, the museum hosted more than 250 train trips to the state fair, Atlanta, Tipton and special excursions. About 40,000 people travel on the museum train throughout year, with the highest numbers going to the Indiana State Fair, the Polar Bear Express, Christmas trains, on educational field trips and weekend trips to Atlanta, Cicero and Tipton.

From: http://www.thenoblesvilleledger.com/articles/5/047231-1385-111.html
Nathan Bilger
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NSyorktown

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Interesting Twist
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005, 10:25:57 AM »
Not to be cruel or anything, but is there a reason to go to the park in Noblesville for anything BUT to visit the museum?  Since the property lines the river (i.e., a flood plain) it never impressed me as the best piece of real estate in the community.

IU_Tower

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2005, 04:22:11 PM »
I would like to see the museum property moved to a larger location, but unfortunatly, there aren't many other choices. Class 1's aren't keen on the idea of civilians running around the property, so that rules out CSX & NS lines. The one line that is friendly with the ITMZ is the Indiana RailRoad, so moving the museum somewhere on the INRD property may be an alternative. It would also give the City of Indianapolis move incentive to decide what it wants to do with the HHPA tracks, either reguage it for light-rail transit, or rehab the existing ROW for commuter rail.

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2005, 08:26:04 AM »
Just for perspective, the Illinois Railroad Museum has a large expanse of its' own land in a rural area that's still within an hour's drive of Chicago, Rockford, and Milwaukee. (no that's not a new railroad name...)  There's still not a lot of population pressure there (read: vandalism potential, crabby landlord, high property taxes, subdivision rising in the cornfield next door, multi-use (joggers), etc.) and the price of the land was probably not exorbitant and still isn't.  For those unaware, they have laid their own rail on an old interurban railbed that parallels a UP (ex-CNW) lightly-used branch (for input/output only)
A train museum in a city can be a tight fit, with chafing on both sides.

robert_b1

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2005, 09:28:35 AM »
Quote
I would like to see the museum property moved to a larger location, but unfortunatly, there aren't many other choices.


What about Grant Co?  Land is cheap.

What about between Marion and Van Buren?  The rails were never removed from the partially abandoned railbed -- Well, there are sapping trees growing up nearly 6 feet high between the rail ties.


Rick

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2005, 12:01:34 PM »
I agree with NSyorktown.  I don't really see a reason to go to Noblesville period except for the museum.  I am sure the town/city is nice but the museum is the only thing there that I and many others have an interest in.  I am positive that there is another community that would love to have an extra 30-40 thousand people come in and spend money.  Sounds like the board people don't know there butt from a hole in the ground.

Fitch

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2005, 04:51:34 PM »
Quote
 I am positive that there is another community that would love to have an extra 30-40 thousand people come in and spend money.  Sounds like the board people don't know there butt from a hole in the ground.



The Haley Tower Historical Society is trying to build a Railroad Mueseum here in Terre Haute......along a Nice stretch of Track......I'm sure they would love to Host the ITM...as I'm sure the City would Love the People who would come to it..and spend money...

It's things like this that Really Erk the crap out of me.....Moreso because I'm a History Major.....

Ralph

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2005, 08:47:27 PM »
Moving ITM to the WVRM in Terre Haute would certainly enhance our relatively new Museum. (I'm VP of the Haley Tower Historical & Technical Society.) Currently we don't have the room it would require and we DO have some problems associated with a somewhat run-down urban setting. Almost all of the original glass is gone from both towers due to rock-throwers.
Rumor - and I stress RUMOR - is that Noblesville wants to extend Field Drive to the west from SR 19. Field Drive runs over the White River on the new bridge at the north end of Forest Park. An area resident said that route would become the northern bypass of Noblesville just as 146th Street is the south bypass. An extended Field Drive would run through the north end of ITM.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2005, 09:10:44 PM by Ralph »


trainmaster53

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 01:18:11 PM »
One Question Here, What happens if ITM wins their Law Suit against Noblesville and Fishers and the Port Authority. At what Odds will this put the Parks Board in, Because we all know that the City of Noblesville and the Mayor is behind this move as well.

indyspy

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 01:45:59 PM »
Well they have until March to figure out how to get any nice stuff to Logansport.
If in doubt, Notch it out!

Union Depot

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 05:42:09 PM »
I would like to see the museum property moved to a larger location, but unfortunatly, there aren't many other choices. Class 1's aren't keen on the idea of civilians running around the property, so that rules out CSX & NS lines. The one line that is friendly with the ITMZ is the Indiana RailRoad, so moving the museum somewhere on the INRD property may be an alternative. It would also give the City of Indianapolis move incentive to decide what it wants to do with the HHPA tracks, either reguage it for light-rail transit, or rehab the existing ROW for commuter rail.

Though the population base is so much less than the greater Indy metro region, there's always the possibility of IRM finding another community (similar to their recent announcement with Logansport) supportive of them (as a tourist draw) on a segment of the soon to be finalized abandoned former southern Monon anywhere between Bedford and New Albany.  I'm sure the acquisition cost from CSX (depending on the desired amount of miles) would / could be obtainable.  Thus far, I've not seen of anyone wanting to do anything with the former Monon, other than, just casual talk of "maybe" turning some segments into a trail.

At this point, the former Monon could very well be the answer (in all forms) compared to the onslaught of issues the IRM is having with HHPA, Noblesville & Fishers, and now the Park Board.  I am not sure of the legal costs the museum has / is incurring, but one would assume those costs alone could purchase some miles of track / ROW on the Monon (especially with the massive legal ahead).

Anything at this point would have to be better than what they now face of being unable to move any trains but a few feet inside their grounds and being landlocked with no outside connection in an area where most jurisdictions are now hostile toward even their mere presence.  What say you?

     
Union Depot - Historic Railroad Images of Vincennes and Surrounding Areas: https://www.flickr.com/photos/82856031@N04/

510Russ

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 06:57:43 PM »
NSyorktown wrote,
Quote
... Is there a reason to go to the park in Noblesville for anything BUT to visit the museum?

Actually, Forest Park is one of our favorite parks, and we've had several nice picnics there over the years. The presence or absence of the ITM won't impact our use of it.  And as for Noblesville itself, several of our favorite restaurants and two of our favorite antique stores are there.  We've plenty of reason to return.

I remember the Toledo, Lake Erie, & Western used to operate out of the city park in Waterville, OH.  In the early days, they kept it neat enough. But over time, it ended up looking like a junk yard, plus there was spilled oil all over the place, and other nastiness.  The City of Waterville eventually evicted them.

-- Russ Schwartz

central1751

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 07:28:29 PM »
Lets hope someone in this hot mess has an exit plan to get stuff moved and quickly.   March will be here faster than they think.   Time for this group to cut thier losses and reboot the operation in Logansport.   Quit wasting funds fighting and start spending it to get your stuff to somewhere safe.   

monty

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 10:00:26 PM »
Move on north on the IMC to Sharpsville. The old co-op property would suffice. Close to Kokomo and Hamilton County museum members and population base. Access to NS in Tipton and the WSRY and CERA routes. Just a suggestion. Not an easy move. Hate what has happened to ITM and wish the best outcome.
monty

indyspy

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2017, 08:57:13 AM »
Well for now, a spur on the current line not owned by the port authority would do.

Some of ITM's stuff is already on a former customer's spur
If in doubt, Notch it out!

h2466

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2017, 06:23:12 PM »
The City of Waterville eventually evicted them.-- Russ Schwartz
They didn't get evicted from Waterville. Ken

NS7112

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2017, 04:27:32 PM »
Done deal...they gone in March. Yes a lot to do in the park besides just the museum. Very popular swimming pool that attracts a lot of folks during the summer months to name just one thing. 

wabash2800

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2017, 04:53:42 PM »
Perhaps in not having equipment scrapped in place, interested parties will buy or make a deal (lease?) on some of the equipment piecemeal and move it themselves. I do, however, recall talking to someone at the museum some years ago, and was told the museum had a rig they used to move equipment. This is a rather unfortunate situation but a new location would be better near a highly populated area for better attendance and train ridership. The proposed rail road heritage theme park in Fort Wayne couldn't come soon enough. Part of the plan is to relay the former NYC track to connect with NS and have an outside connection for the 765. It all comes down to money.

Let's face it, but the Rails to Trails people, Nimbies, real estate developers (who have bigger tax breaks now) and politicians are often in conflict with keeping track in place for railroad museums and tourist lines. There are many examples of this happening, including up-state New York. In fact, the original Steamtown USA moved from Vermont for that reason. As a kid, I remember riding behind a diesel at Steamtown in the early 70s because locals were disturbed by the smoke from steam locomotives.

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« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 12:24:37 AM by wabash2800 »

rrnut282

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Re: Noblesville Parks Board looks to evict ITM
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2017, 09:45:12 PM »
What about Grant Co?  Land is cheap.

What about between Marion and Van Buren?  The rails were never removed from the partially abandoned railbed -- Well, there are sapping trees growing up nearly 6 feet high between the rail ties.
Those were saplings twenty years ago.  Travel on that line is BYOC only.  (bring your own chainsaw)
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