Friday, October 3, 2014

Nickel Plate Engine 426

Update: HHR is the reporting mark for Hoosier Heritage Port Authority.

I was driving westbound on Indiana State Road 28 during the evening of August 30, 2014, when I noticed a NKP engine setting next to a crossing in Tipton, IN. Fortunately, traffic was light, and I was able to quickly make a left-hand turn into a parking lot next to the tracks. It had started to move so I grabed this picture.

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Realizing I was on the dark side, I quickly ran around to the other side grabbing this photo as I went since I was "loosing" the train. When I pulled into the parking spot, I could see through the open door in the first car that it was some sort of "support" car. Maybe it contained a Head End Power generator and/or tools.




There was not much train and sun left by the time I got to the other side. There was time to zoom from wide-angle to a normal lens.








I digitally zoomed-in on the "farewell" shot. I assumed I had seen a railroad museum train. An Indiana map indicated that the track segment from Tipton south was HHR. But I was not able to find any info on that. Yesterday when I was doing a Google search for, if I remember correctly, "Indiana railroad map" for another project, I found a link to the Indiana Transportation Museum. I learned that ITMZ 426 is a 1953 EMD GP-7L. Not only does it have the sheet metal of the original Nickel Plate locomotive, it evidently still has the original 16-cylinder EMD 567BC prime mover. Since this engine did not smoke when it started pushing the train, the particulate quality of the exhaust must be a matter of maintenance rather than age.

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