The Nickel Plate 1 served as the premier business car for the Nickel Plate Road for many years. It was built in February 1929 by the Pullman Standard Company. From 1929 through 1936, it was used by Oris and Mantis VanSweringen, the owners of the Nickel Plate. The brothers were also the owners of the C&O, PM, Erie and the Missouri Pacific. Prior to their entry into the railroad business, they developed Shaker Heights in Cleveland. They also built Terminal Tower, which is still a major landmark in downtown Cleveland.

In 1942, the car was sold to Chesapeake and Ohio as their #1, then returned to the Nickel Plate as #1 in 1949. When the Norfolk and Western bought the Nickel Plate in 1964, it became N&W No.1. In 1967, the car became N&W No.103, which it remained until being retired in 1971. It was then sold to Henry Kegley, an industrialist in Bristol, Virginia who preserved it on a siding at Tenneva Foods, a frozen food plant, until his death in 1998. In 1999 it was purchased from Mr. Kegley’s estate for use at ITM. After much volunteer effort, in May 2000 it moved by rail to ITM.

The car contains 4 bedrooms, each with toilet and wash basin, a general bath with tub and shower, an observation room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, and quarters for a crew of two. It weighs over 230,000 pounds, making it a true heavyweight car.

NKP No.1 was acquired to preserve the premier business car of the Nickel Plate Road so it could be experienced and enjoyed by the visitors to ITM. With it, guests can be educated as to how business cars were used and what it was like to be a guest on one.

The car is used during the Indiana State Fair and for museum fund raising and public relations events. It is also available for charter service on scheduled or special trains. For charter information, contact our Visitor Services Manager at (317) 773-6000 or inquire via e-mail at