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Traveling the Indiana Bicentennial Train Takes Coordination, Cooperation

Aug. 29, 2013


Indianapolis— Even though visitors will only get a stationary look at the Indiana Bicentennial Train, its movement is a highly choreographed, cooperative effort on the part of several partners. The Bicentennial Train, a unique collaboration between the Indiana Historical Society (IHS), The Indiana Rail Road Company and Norfolk Southern Corporation, will travel to four stops in the fall of 2013—Kokomo (Sept. 26-28), New Haven (Oct. 3-5), Valparaiso (Oct. 10-12) and Delphi (Oct. 17-19).

Unlike city streets and state and federal highways, most of the 140,000-mile American rail network is owned by private companies that move the nation’s freight, from manufactured goods and retail to agricultural or energy products. Billions of dollars are invested by those companies to maintain and upgrade their lines, which make up the nation’s rail infrastructure.

“Getting the train on the tracks takes an extraordinary effort on the part of our staff and partners, but the train and its associated activities are sure to generate a lot of enthusiasm for the bicentennial,” said John A. Herbst, IHS President and CEO. “It is designed to have communities look to the past, and then contemplate Indiana’s future and what qualities will make us more successful.”

Originating in Indianapolis on the rails of The Indiana Rail Road Company, the Bicentennial Train's statewide tour requires the cooperative effort of several additional railroads as it crisscrosses the state. Behind the scenes, the railroads work like a precision relay team to hand the train off from one set of rails to another, threading it through the busy schedule of freight trains that move 800,000 tons of goods across Indiana each day.
From Indiana Rail Road’s yard just south of downtown Indianapolis, the train will travel via Norfolk Southern, Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis and Winamac Southern Railway, coming to rest on Winamac Southern’s siding in downtown Kokomo. It will then move via Winamac Southern, Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis, and Norfolk Southern to reside at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in New Haven. From there, Norfolk Southern will transport the train to its siding in Valparaiso that is leased by Von Tobel Lumber. Norfolk Southern will also handle the transportation of the train to the siding in Delphi, which is owned by U.S. Aggregates, and back to the Indiana Rail Road Indianapolis yard for storage until its 2014 run begins.

"Indiana's upcoming bicentennial should serve as a point of pride and celebration for all who live and work in Indiana, striving for an even better tomorrow," said Tom Hoback, President and CEO of Indiana Rail Road. "It's that spirit that brought so many of Indiana's railroads together to make the Bicentennial Train possible, and I'm very pleased that the rail industry will serve as an ambassador for Indiana's heritage."

 Time and resources to move and/or host the 2013 Indiana Bicentennial Train will be provided by: The Indiana Rail Road Company; Norfolk Southern Corporation; Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis; Winamac Southern Railway; Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad; U S Rail Corporation; and Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

 

About the Indiana History Train

The Indiana Bicentennial Train consists of three 65-foot renovated Amtrak freight cars and features a free traveling exhibition, The Next Indiana (designed by the IHS exhibitions team). Originally known as the Indiana History Train, it has welcomed nearly 58,000 visitors at 24 stops in communities across Indiana from 2004 to 2008.

In addition to the exhibition, temporary “depots” are set up at each venue to provide an enjoyable, comprehensive experience. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities, catch a 1916 interpreter presentation, engage in a community creativity space and purchase items from a pop-up History Market.

The 2013 Indiana History Train is presented by the Indiana Historical Society and sponsored by The Indiana Rail Road Company and Norfolk Southern Corporation, in partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission and Indiana Humanities.

The Bicentennial Train and its accompanying activities are all free and open to the public, operating 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, and every visitor will receive a complimentary pass to visit IHS's Indiana Experience at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. Group reservations are available by calling (317) 232-1882 (space is limited).  For more information on the Indiana Bicentennial Train and other IHS programs, visit www.indianahistory.org.

About The Indiana Railroad Company

The Indiana Rail Road Company is a privately-held, 500-mile railroad based in Indianapolis. The company hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products each year, serving central and southwestern Indiana and eastern Illinois, with service to the North American rail gateways of Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville. The company, founded in 1986, is also active in the community, operating the popular Santa Train, serving as a major sponsor of the Indiana Historical Society and “Jingle Rails” at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and providing education and public safety-related community grants. For more information, visit the Indiana Rail Road online at www.inrd.com or on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating the state's history. A nonprofit membership organization, the IHS also publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; provides youth, adult, and family programming; provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; and maintains the nation's premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest.

 

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