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View of Chicago Rapid Transit Trolley Car
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The Indiana Transit Museum

Forest Park, 701 Cicero Road

Noblesville, IN 46061-0083

Written by Julie Greiner
The Indiana Transit Museum is a unique operation, situated in Noblesville just a stone's throw from the Indianapolis metro area. The Museum is mainly operated on a volunteer basis and offers the opportunity to ride the trains of yesterday and experience the history of days gone by. Besides the track itself, traces of our history are to be seen up and down the line. The museum displays a piece of the original Peru & Indianapolis strap rail.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Fleet

The Museum owns fifteen coaches which were originally built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and were used on such famous
trains as "The Texas Chief", "The Scout", and "The El Capitan". The coaches continued to operate between Chicago, Kansas City and Los Angeles until the early 1960's when they were sold to The Central Railroad of New Jersey. Twenty years later they were sold as scrap to the Museum. At this present time - eight of these coaches have been restored. The Museum also operates the Silver Salon, a combination baggage-coach car that once operated between Chicago and the Twin Cities on the Burlington Railroad.

Budd Coaches

The fleet of closed window coaches maintained by the
View of Monon Engine Number 96
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ITM are streamlined, stainless steel equipment manufactured by the Budd Corporation in 1937 and 1938. They were the first stainless steel coaches built by that company. Coach 3072 was the very first coach of this type off the production line. Since these are closed window coaches, they also represent some of the first coaches built with air conditioning as standard equipment.

The Silver Salon

The Museum also operates the Silver Salon, a combination baggage-coach car that once operated between Chicago and the Twin Cities on the Burlington Railroad. It now serves as a head end power (HEP) car housing a diesel generator that
provides electricity to power the lights and air conditioning on the train. Passenger cars include coaches for day travel, baggage and mail cars (often called "head end" cars because they were usually at the front of the train), dining cars, lounges and sleeping cars usually owned and operated by the Pullman Company. Private cars for railroad executives and rich owners were the peak of railroad elegance in the "Golden Age".

Chicago Rapid Transit Trolley Cars

The trolley cars used at the Museum are officially called Chicago Rapid Transit Cars. They are also known as elevated cars, or simply as
View of Steam Engine Number 587
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the "L". The name originating from the elevated tracks they ran on in Chicago and it's suburbs. The private company that preceded the quasi-government Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Elevated Railways, ordered 100 of these cars from the Cincinnati Car Company in 1922. Car No. 4293 is one of the 1922 series. Our line car #4381 is part of the 1924 series. These cars represent a significant example of the stage of development in public transit in the 1920's through the 1970's.

Cab Rides

Cab rides are also available on most trains steam and diesel locomotives. There is a limit of two cab riders at a time. The minimum age for cab rides is 12 years of age. For further information call (317) 208-3300.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015