Released February 28, 2017

Updated March 6, 2017


Media Release

February 28, 2017



Media Contact:

Marketing and Communications

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – With the announcement of plans by the Cities of Fishers and Noblesville to convert the local landmark, Nickel Plate railroad to a walking and biking trail, the area is at risk of losing a major historic and economic differentiator.

The Indiana Transportation Museum, which has operated events and excursions on the line since 1990, is disheartened by the direction local leaders have chosen. With downtown developments carrying the Nickel Plate theme, the railroad as a historical, tourism-oriented entity has the capacity to continually enrich the area’s market appeal and economic footprint. Studies have shown ITM is one of the top attractions in Hamilton County.

Many cities have walking and biking paths, but few in the United States have an operating heritage railroad operating through bustling business districts with access to a large metropolitan market such as Indianapolis. The organization brings in more than 40,000 riders into the area each year at a growing rate, and many travel from out of town. These visitors buy gas, soda and snacks at convenience stores; have dinner and drinks at local restaurants and bars as well as stay in local hotels. The economic impact of such a move on the local businesses and community must be carefully considered before the heritage railroad is removed.

Museum officials have prepared a master plan that calls for increased excursions and events in order to maximize economic and cultural benefit. The Museum urges city officials to consider a joint-use-plan for the rail corridor, thereby allowing for both attractions to coexist for maximum community benefit. The Museum believes collaboration with city leaders is of the utmost necessity to preserve this unique icon and differentiator for the region as well as future generations of enjoyment.

Currently, as many as 10,000 families from across the region make museum events such as Polar Bear Express, FairTrain and regular offerings a family tradition. The Museum wishes to reach a joint resolution to ensure these experiences are preserved for all to enjoy, thus allowing for the long-term continuation of museum programs.

How can you help?

It’s your community. It’s your museum. Let your voice be heard, and let local leaders know you value historical, educational and economic-driving assets, such as the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad.

Share this release with colleagues, friends and family.

You can also sign the petition to #SavetheNickelPlate here.

Donations to the Indiana Transportation Museum General Fund help to sustain the organization during this time.

#SavetheNickelP late

Hamilton County Commissioners:

Honorable Steven Dillinger

Honorable Christine Altman

Honorable Mark Heirbrandt

City Mayors:

Mayor of Fishers, IN
Honorable Scott Fadness

Mayor of Noblesville, IN
Honorable John Ditslear

About Indiana Transportation Museum, Inc.

 The Indiana Transportation Museum is a private sector, nonprofit 501 (c) 3 institution dedicated to engaging and inspiring future generations through the art, science and technological innovation of the railroad. The museum provides immersive experiences to guests by offering historic train rides on the Federal Railroad Administration compliant, volunteer-operated Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad. Approximately 40,000 passengers ride with the museum annually to a variety of events between Indianapolis and Tipton, Indiana, including the Indiana State Fair in August and the Polar Bear Express in November and December.