NORTH JUDSON, INDIANA – The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Significant Achievement Award – Freight Car by the HeritageRail Alliance for its program of rehabbing and painting freight cars. The award was presented to the museum during the HRA Spring Conference Virtual Symposium. A plaque recognizing the museum’s achievement will be presented at a later date.
In recent years, a large number of freight cars have been rehabilitated by museum volunteers. Authentic lettering has also been painted on the cars for maximum historic accuracy. Since the vast majority of the museum’s equipment is stored outside, painting the cars has been crucial to their long-term preservation. The museum has more than thirty pieces of rolling stock in its collection.
“I’m really proud of the work that has been accomplished around the museum over the last year or so,” said Todd Flanigan. He took the helm as president of the organization in January 2020.
“Even though we were in the middle of a pandemic, we were able to get so much done,” Flanigan stated. “This award demonstrates what our membership is capable of accomplishing.”
Flanigan went on to say that there is still plenty of work to do, but he is optimistic about the museum’s capability to take on larger projects. “It’s a great time for people to join the museum and get involved. We have a lot of awesome things in the works.”
While many volunteer members have been involved in various painting projects, the museum would like to thank Mark Knebel, who has been spearheading the recent effort. Knebel is a long-time member of the organization and has worked diligently to paint the museum’s fleet of cabooses, freight cars, and passenger equipment.
Founded in 1988, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation of railroad history in northwest Indiana. The museum educates the public through interpretive displays and its tourist railroad that operates over several miles of former Chesapeake & Ohio track saved from abandonment in 2004.
Additional information about the museum can be found online at hoosiervalley.org or on the museum’s Facebook page at @hoosiervalley.