At one time, a large part of North Judson's population worked for one of four major railroad companies in town, the Chesapeake & Ohio, Erie Lackawanna, New York Central and Pennsy, as well as a rail car repair facility run by the North American Car Company.
The Chicago & Cincinnati Railroad arrived in North Judson first with a line from Logansport to Valparaiso, IN, built between 1858 and 1861. The C&C later merged with the Chicago & Great Eastern Railway and, years later, the C&GE joined the Pennsy, merging into Penn Central in 1968 and Conrail in 1976.
The second to arrive was the Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad, also known as the 3I Route, which built from Streator, IL, to North Judson in 1881, and on to South Bend, IN, in 1894, The 3I later became part of New York Central, Penn Central and then Conrail. The Chicago & Atlantic Railroad arrived between 1881 and 1883. Later known as the Erie Railroad Company, it eventually became the Erie Lackawanna and then also merged into Conrail.
Finally, in 1902, the Cincinnati, Richmond & Muncie Railroad was the fourth into town. It later became part of the Chesapeake & Ohio, then the Chessie System in 1972 and CSX in 1987. In 2004, CSX filed to abandon the remaining portion of the old C&O line through North Judson, but the segment between North Judson and Malden was saved through the efforts of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum and is now operated by the Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad.
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Above, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is located at the corner of Mulberry St and Sycamore St. It occupies the former C&O passenger depot near what was once the junction of the Erie, Pennsy, C&O and NYC lines in North Judson. At the height of railroad operations in the town, as many as one hundred and twenty-five trains passed through here every day.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the
rich railroad history of North Judson through displaying and operating vintage railroad equipment on the adjacent historic rails that remain from earlier operators. It is open
9.00-4.00 on Saturdays and offers train rides behind ex Erie Lackawanna, Alco built S-1 switcher #310 every Saturday between May and October.
The museum also occasionally hosts other operators and, in June 2011, I engineered the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's Nickel Plate Road S-2 #765 at the museum (you can see photos on the NKP #765 page of this website). It was on that occasion that I took the photos on this page.
This rather dilapidated 0-4-2T (Tank) locomotive was built by Pittsburgh, PA, based H. K. Porter in 1913 for Cia. Generale Des Phosphates de la Floride of Pembroke, FL, as #6.
It was later bought by the Coronet Phosphate Co., of Coronet, FL, which operated it until 1967 when it was sold to the scrap dealer R. L. Johnson & George Silcott. Bought the same year by John Thompson of Markham, IL, it moved to Monee, IL, in 1968.
At some point, #6 eventually arrived at the Hoosier Valley Railway Museum, although it would seem unlikely that the locomotive will ever steam again. It is a standard gauge oil burner weighing 84,000 lbs with 39" drivers and 14" x 20" cylinders. Operating at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, it delivered 13,670 lbs tractive effort.
Donned with a quasi "Thomas the Tank Engine" face on the front of the smoke box, it is on display with some equally dilapidated ballast tipper trucks (below).
Above, CO K-4 #2789 in the museum back shop. This 2-8-4 Berkshire type locomotive (or "Kanawha" as they were known by the C&O) was being restored when we visited.
Twelve K-4s survive. #2705 is on the B&O Museum Yard & Car Shop page of this website, #2707 on the Illinois Railway Museum Yard, #2716 on the Kentucky Railway Museum, #2727 on the St Louis Museum of Transportation Train Sheds and #2736 on the National Railroad Museum page. #2700, #2732, #2755, #2756 #2760 and #2776 each have their own pages.
The museum currently uses Erie Lackawanna Alco S-1 #310 to haul passenger trains during the summer season, but it was in storage when I visited as NKP #765 was out on the road. #310 was built for the Erie Railroad in 1947 and was one of sixteen S-1 switchers rostered by that railroad (#306-#321). It became Erie Lackawanna #310 in 1960 and was donated to the museum by Silcott Railway Equipment Company in 1997.
Five hundred and forty of these switchers were produced by Alco between 1940 and 1950 for a wide range of US railroads as well as Brazil and the United Kingdom. They are virtually identical to the Alco S-3 switchers, two hundred and ninety-two of which were produced from 1950 to 1953. The only difference is that the S-1 was equipped with Alco's Blunt trucks and the S-3 had standard AAR type A switcher trucks.
Both the S-1 and S-3 weigh 210,000 lbs and are 44' 5" long. With a 600 hp (660 hp on the S-3) Model 539 6L prime mover powering a GE GT552A generator driving six GE 731 traction motors, they deliver 57,500 lbs starting tractive effort at 25%, and 46,000 lbs continuous tractive effort at 5 mph with a top speed of 60 mph.
Quite a few S-1s are still in operation with shortline railroads in the US, and several more are preserved in museums in the US and United Kingdom. You can see Western Maryland S-1 #138T on the B&O Museum Yard & Car Shop page of this website and USAF S-1 #7277 is on the Ogden Union Station page.
#467 is an Alco built RS-1 switcher, one of four delivered to the Long Island Railroad in 1950 (#466-#469). After leaving the LI, it went through a number of owners, including Indiana Hi-Rail. It is currently owned by a private individual and may be restored at a future date.
Four hundred and sixty-nine RS-1 units were built by Alco-GE from 1941 to 1953, and then by Alco between 1953 and 1960, the longest production run of any diesel locomotive for the North American market. Weighing 240,000 lbs they are powered by an Alco 439T prime mover.
This Orton 20-ton self-propelled crane was built for Purdue University in 1945, serial number 44596. It was originally gas powered but was converted to diesel in 1960.
Purdue University had two coal fired power plants at its West Lafayette, IN, campus and, when the first power plant was taken off line in 1985, #44596 became surplus. Purdue
eventually donated it to the museum in 1992.
The crane's diesel engine was rebuilt and it is used quite often for various projects by the museum.