Engineer for an Hour



Would you like to operate a real, historic locomotive? Do you know of a certain family member or friend that is impossible to shop for? We have the solution.
This fall, the Indiana Transportation Museum is offering the public the opportunity to operate a real locomotive, either Nickel Plate Road diesel No. 426 or Monon diesel No. 50, for a 30-minute-time-period. Prior to boarding the locomotive, you will receive a short instructional and safety session. After receiving your instruction, you will operate the locomotive itself without cars attached on our yard trackage within Forest Park.

Ring the bell, turn on the headlight, pull the throttle and apply the brakes – you’re the engineer.



About Nickel Plate Road No. 426


Nickel Plate Road No. 426 was built in 1953 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in Lagrange, Illinois. The GP-7 model  locomotive was built to replace steam locomotives within the Nickel Plate railroad’s fleet. Based out of Frankfort, IN, the locomotive pulled freight trains along several Indiana routes, including the Nickel Plate route nearby the Museum to Indianapolis. The locomotive was donated and lovingly restored by volunteers in the early 2000s to original condition. No. 426 is one of a handful functioning Nickel Plate locomotives remaining in the United States.

About Monon No. 50

Monon No. 50 was built in February of 1942 by the Elctro-Motive Division of General Motors in Lagrange, Illinois. The SW-1 model locomotive was built as the first diesel for the Monon Railroad. The locomotive spent most of its time switching cars, or moving them around, to make up bigger trains for inter-city travel. The locomotive then served a coal mine for a number of years, before retirement. The locomotive was completely overhauled and restored by volunteers over a number of years into original condition. Today, the locomotive is used for moving cars around our facility as well as pulling short caboose rides at Forest Park and community events.

*The railroad reserves the right to substitute or select motive power for any reason at any time.

Dates, Times and Reservations

Sunday, Sept. 24 &
Sunday, Oct. 1,8,15
10 a.m.
11 a.m.
12 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.
3 p.m.
4 p.m.
5 p.m.

By reserving and purchasing a session for Engineer for an Hour, you agree to the terms and conditions below. Reservations are required.

Price: $150 per session

Reserve Your Session


Directions to Forest Park

Terms & Conditions

  • You must be 18 years of age and able-bodied, mentally alert and agile.
  • A signed waiver is required, upon arrival.
  • Operation is subject to museum policies, safety, and operating regulations.
  • Supervision will be by appointed Museum personnel, and participants are expected to comply with all instructions.
  • Guests in the locomotive cab are allowed upon the sole discretion of the instructor for the session. Any allowed guests must be 12 years old (with a chaperone 18+) or older. All guests and operators must sign a liability waiver. The instructing engineer reserves the right to deny guests or ask guests to get off the locomotive at any point. All guests are expected to remain quiet, courteous and respectful as safety is of utmost importance. A maximum of five people total can be in the locomotive cab.
  • All sessions will take place in Noblesville’s Forest Park at the museum facility.
  • The railroad reserves the right to substitute motive power for any reason.
  • Refunds will not be given, unless event does not operate.