Author Topic: Hoosier Heartland Trolley  (Read 770 times)


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Hoosier Heartland Trolley
« on: April 30, 2019, 02:54:18 PM »
Today on Facebook, a page just appeared in my news feed about the Hoosier Heartland Trolley.  Somehow this group had escaped my attention.  I understand that they acquired a couple trolleys from the ITM liquidation.  The site also says that right now they are in a private leased facility, but they hope to acquire a property for display to the general public by 2023.  They are also investing considerable time and money to restore a particular trolley, and they have a fundraising campaign going on too.

I've been to that trolley museum just south of Pittsburg, and it's really nice.  At that museum, everything is original.  When the trolley company dissolved, a group of investors bought it and turned it into a museum right away.  I hope the Hoosier Heartland Trolley people will be able to have a similarly nice facility some day.

Here's a link to their web site:

-- Russ


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Re: Hoosier Heartland Trolley
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 03:45:53 PM »
This is a group of hard-working ambitious young guys who seem to know what they are doing. I wrote a short piece for Trains Newswire last October. They have made more progress since this article was published. Since I wrote it I think it's OK for me to post it here:

New group rescues interurban equipment from former Indiana museum site
By Kim Heusel | October 31, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS — Out of chaos there's hope for neglected streetcar equipment in the hands of the newly formed Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co.

Hoosier Heartland is a group of young volunteers who came together to save and restore four pieces of Indiana streetcar and interurban history that were among the rolling stock and locomotives that were still inside the grounds of the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, Ind., last July. That's when a court order forced the museum to vacate its longtime home.

As groups and individuals scrambled to rescue what they could from the museum, the Hoosier Heartland volunteers made sure Indiana Union Traction interurban cars Nos. 429 and 437; Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern interurban car No. 81; and Indianapolis Street Railway car No. 153 weren’t lost to scrappers.

In fact, No. 153 was within minutes of being demolished when the organization's secretary William Whitmer literally stepped between the car and a backhoe that was ready to begin demolition with paperwork to show that the group owned the car.

No. 153, the last remaining streetcar from the Indianapolis system, was built in 1935 and ran until 1953. It has been stored outside for many years with only a tarp to cover the top. To say it is in rough shape would be an understatement, but the volunteers are confident they can bring the old car back to life one it is safe from outside elements.

The 429 and 437 were built in 1925 by the St. Louis Car Co., while the 81, a wood car built by Jewett, was built in 1902. It is reported to be the oldest surviving Jewett car.

The 429 is in the best shape of the four cars. It had been stored in an inside location for the last 30 to 40 years. It is the first car the group plans to have running again, hopefully by 2025, which would be its 100th birthday.

Hoosier Heartland is actively seeking donations and so far has raised about $30,000. On a drizzly and chilly October Saturday when members were working to get the 153 ready to be moved, an official from Indiana Landmarks was on hand to present a check for $3,500 earmarked for work on the 153.

“It’s pretty moving to see how many think this is important work,” Hoosier Heartland treasurer Jakob Stage says.

On the day Trains visited the museum's former site, other museum groups were busily readying rail equipment for relocation elsewhere. Even months after the court order that ignited the chaotic scramble for equipment, a full tally of the pieces removed, remaining, or that are at least are accounted for, remains elusive.

“We’re actively seeking out a place to call home,” Stage says. “It all depends on where we can find a railroad, or where we can build a railroad (on which to run the cars). We didn’t go down this road to park them in a barn.”

The 153 is the last car to be moved out by the group. The other cars have already been moved to other secure locations where they are protected from the elements. Group members hope to have all four cars in one spot within a year.


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Re: Hoosier Heartland Trolley
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 10:37:38 AM »
Look for an end of year update to come soon on social media and the website. Our one year anniversary is fast approaching and we’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far. We’d appreciate your support through a donation to the #Electrify429 campaign or a merchandise purchase in our store!