Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum set to restore historic locomotive

Monon DS-50 has moved to the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson. The museum plans to bring the historic locomotive back into service. The locomotive’s cab was destroyed after striking a bridge in Logansport. Photo courtesy of Don Nickel

STARKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is set to restore Monon DS-50, one of Indiana’s famous diesel locomotives.

The Monon DS-50 is a 600-horsepower SW1 diesel, built in 1942 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, according to Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. It was also the first diesel locomotive on the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway.

The locomotive went under private ownership with a long history in tourist railroad operations in Indiana.

In 2018, the train was famously “decapitated” while being transported by truck. The cab of the train was destroyed once it hit a low bridge in Logansport, Ind. and sat there for two years, the museum said.

However, the switcher of the train was moved safely from Logansport to the museum by Schlatter Brothers Transportation of Francesville, Ind. The museum has now entered an agreement with the private owner to restore and operate the Monon DS-50. A replacement cab will be transported from St Louis to the museum at another time.

In addition to the switcher, the museum also secured the caboose of the same locomotive. It was transported to the museum in late March for restoration. The steel caboose was built by the Monon in Lafayette, Ind. in 1956.

The museum is also set to announce fundraising efforts for the Monon equipment soon. Also, volunteers are needed to assist the restoration team with the project. If you’d like to help, visit www.hoosiervalley.org.

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