426 makes its way through downtown Noblesville

GP-7L No. 426 started its life on May 23, 1953 with a “Specification Release” as one of 25 units ordered by the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate) from the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors Corp. The units were numbered 423 through 447 and 426 carried EMD serial number 18594. The No. 426 was put into service at Frankfort, IN, on July 22, 1953.

The engine was sold to Morris-Knudson of Boise, ID, in 1978 by N&W, which acquired it in its merger with NKP. It was then sold to Peabody Coal Co., Randolph County Preparation Plant, for service in hauling coal approximately three miles to the Baldwin Power Plant of Illinois Power Co. The No. 426 was last used in January of 2000 when the mines and Prep Plant were closed. The GP-7 was put up for sale along with five other locomotives owned by Peabody Coal at the Prep Plant. Peabody Coal donated the No. 426 to the ITM. This was the only NKP locomotive of the six units that Peabody had.

The locomotive is equipped with a 16-cylinder EMD 567BC prime mover and 6 BL air brake system. The unit was ordered as a road switcher with a gear ratio 62/15 for a top speed of 65 mph.