Our Travels over the last year in Indiana
by Michael Roderick
We decided to visit 2 places since June of last year one was the Monon Connection in Monon, Indiana and the other is the New York Central Historical Society in Elkhart, Indiana. Both have Railroad related and non-railroad related items in the area. I’m not going to give all the details of both place as it will fuel you to go see a part of Indiana Railroad History.
The first place was the Monon Connection and the Whistle Stop Dinner just 4 miles north of Monon, Indiana. The picture below when you are going north on US 421 is what catches your eye.
When you pull into the parking lot you are greeted with other rolling stock some of which is MOW as well as Signal equipment. Walking into the Whistle Stop Dinner and or the Monon Connection is taking a walk back intime. The Whistle Stops food is all home cooking and a local’s favorite to eat at. They have pictures of railroad related memorabilia as well as 2 G gauge trains running around the celling. When you step over into the Monon Connection Museum you are greeted at the ticket booth window to pay for your admission to the museum this is a real ticket booth from a Railroad Station.
After you pay your admission to the museum you are given a guided tour of the museum. The collection has over 150 lanterns from different railroads. A very extensive collection of passenger dinning car flatware and hats from various different railroads all of this is just visible at the ticket booth. After you have seen all the stuff in the main area you are taken into the main hall it is huge. The owner of the Monon Connection and Whistle Stop Dinner is the one who rescued the Flagger Car from ITM in Noblesville, Indiana which is currently in the final stages of being fully restored. They have a meeting room which can host up to 50 people for meetings and stuff.
Our second adventure was the New York Central Historical Society in Elkhart, Indiana. What beautiful place with a lot of railroad history. The Norfolk Southern has a major classification yard in Elkhart so railfanning there is always a treat. While at the NYCHS I encountered 5 out bound trains heading east from Elkhart on this snowy day in January. When the place opened at noon on Sunday, we treated to a beautiful museum explaining the history of the NYC in Elkhart. The railroad in Elkhart was named the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern which was a division of the NYC. They had a complete roundhouse and back shop in Elkhart to support all LS&MS trains as well as all NYC equipment. The LS&MS was one of the last divisions to finally fold into the NYC before it became the Penn Central. When you walk through the freighthouse which is the museum you are taken back intime. This a wonderfull place to visit if you have not done so. I am not going to show any more pictures of it because it would take away all the excitement of seeing this wonderful place.