Monday, October 8, 2018

NKPHTS 2018 Indianapolis Convention Highlights

This year's Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society Convention was held in Indianapolis and featured a solid line up of activities.

Friday started with a tour of Amtrak's Beech Grove Facilities. Built in 1904-08, this large former New York Central (Big Four) facility now performs rebuilding and overhaul work on Amtrak's diesels and a majority of the passenger car fleet. Our tour guide was fantastic, explaining each area of the shops and what special work was performed there in great detail. He answered all our questions and more with his deep knowledge from 40 years of service. Sadly no photos were allowed but Brendan and I definitely left with some great memories.

Then later we traveled to Cicero, IN to ride the newly established Nickel Plate Express which currently runs on the former IMC Division between Cicero and Atlanta, IN. With a former Erie Mining EMD F-7A(soon to be repainted) and four ex Santa Fe El Capitan High Level cars we traveled at a leisurely pace though the Indiana cornfields.

Nickel Plate Express at Atlanta, IN with ex Erie Mining F7A

Harvest has started in some fields.

Downtown Atlanta, IN

Monon Caboose 81528

Mr Muffin's huge O scale layout

O scale Monon F3s

Another view of Mr Muffin's huge O scale layout

A tiny center cab switcher helps in the push-pull train operation.

At our stop in Atlanta we had enjoyed a catered lunch and visited Mr. Muffin's Hobby Shop and huge O scale train layout and collection. After an hour roaming the hoby shop and layout in the small town we boarded the Nickel Plate Express and headed back to Cicero. The groups running the train and  small town tourism have done a great job and have a bright future ahead of them for sure.

To close out a busy Friday we visited the Convention Host Jim Canter's large Proto 48 layout and enjoyed a excellent BBQ dinner. Jim's collection of O scale NKP equipment was nothing short of breathtaking!

Brendan for scale next to the Proto 48 NKP C420 and background steam engine

A pair of NKP Hudsons

Full yard

Thanks to Jim for inviting practically the whole convention to your home and sharing your amazing layout with us.

On Saturday the convention had a more relaxed pace with only nearby layout visits and membership meetings and clinics.

Brendan and I choose to visit the nearby Naptown and White River Model Railroad Club. The clubs huge 60' x 40' layout is housed in their own building and is fully scenicked except for a newly added industrial area. Upon arrival Brendan was immediately offered to run a CB&Q Zephyr passenger train and happily did so for almost an hour. Thanks to the N&WR for opening your layout to the NKPHTS!

Naptown & White River Model Railroad Club

Naptown & White River - city scene

Brendan piloting a passenger train

Nothing but green signals ahead

Afterwards we attended the NKPHTS Membership meeting and later I spoke with two members that grew up in and around Adena and Dillonvale in the 50's and 60's. Lots of great info was exchanged and I'm glad I could share some of my old photos of that area.

Brendan and I headed home early due to Sunday plans so we missed the Banquet Dinner and auction but we had a great time overall. Thanks again to Jim Canter for hosting another successful convention!

Because the NKPHTS modeling displays contained so many great models I've made a separate post which can be accessed by clicking on the below link.

Click Here -->  NKPHTS 2018 Indianapolis Convention Model Displays

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