NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The nonprofit Nickel Plate Express has launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for the restoration of an old, iconic locomotive, No. 426.
The campaign aims to bring the 1953 diesel engine back to service in time for the annual Reindeer Ride Express, a popular Christmas-themed train ride in Hamilton county.
“Cosmetically, the locomotive is still a gorgeous piece with a nice paint job; however, the engine needs work so that it can actually run on the railroad again,” said Dagny Zupin, director of Nickel Plate Express.
Noblesville business Noble Coffee and Tea Co. is leading the money-raising efforts. Nickel Plate Express says the coffee shop will roast and sell a special coffee blend, nicknamed Full Throttle to match the name of the fundraising campaign.
The coffee shop will donate 25 percent of Full Throttle coffee sales to the No. 426-restoration campaign.
“Having an operable and original Nickel Plate Road locomotive will be an incredible asset for Hamilton County to have once again,” Zupin said. “We’re thankful to Noble Coffee and Tea for their commitment to leading the way in this preservation effort.”
The 66-year-old locomotive originally served the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, the Nickel Plate Road railway, in Frankfort until 1977.
The freight engine is owned by the city of Noblesville and will be leased to Nickel Plate Express after restoration is complete.
The nonprofit says No. 426 needs approximately $12,000 worth of new parts and maintenance to return to service hopefully by late November. If not successful, Zupin says, the organization has its current mode of power, the 1956 diesel F unit, for the holiday train trips.
Click here to read more history about the iconic locomotive and the campaign.