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As we embark on a new year, Nickel Plate Express is looking ahead to an exciting future. In 2022, we look forward to working with the City of Noblesville to open a new welcome center experience in Forest Park. We hope you will join us as we prepare to offer a new experience for our guests.

As a 501 (c) (3) non profit, all donations to Nickel Plate Express will be tax-deductible.

For donation, just mail your tax-deductible donation to Nickel Plate Express at P.O. Box 425, Arcadia, IN 46030

a train is parked on the side of a road

Engineer Jay Harmon waves while bringing the 426 through Hamilton County. Photo by David Wilcox

an old photo of a building

The 426 is delivered to Frankfort, IN to begin service on the Nickel Plate Road in 1953. From “Nickel Plate Road Diesel Locomotives” by Kevin J. Holland.



In 2019, we mounted a campaign to restore one of Hamilton County’s most beloved locomotives for the 2020 season. A GP7L built in LaGrange in 1953, NKP 426 spent the majority of its life in freight service in Frankfort, IN on the Nickel Plate Road. It remained in service until 1977. Thanks to generous local donors, 426 was successfully returned to service in July 2020 and operates regular weekend excursions between Noblesville and Atlanta.


Nickel Plate Road No. 426 is truly a Hoosier treasure – it encompasses the Indiana railroad essence through its heritage, the people it has touched, and its role in building Indiana’s economy. The engine has been a part of my life personally as well. From the time I was young, No. 426 was one of the pieces of railroad equipment that got me excited about the field of railroad preservation. The Nickel Plate Road speaks volumes to the Hoosier story, and being a native-born Hoosier myself, draws upon those personal connections. Having spent many of my formative years in the railroad preservation movement working with this locomotive, I’m excited to see it enter another lease on life. It is my hope that the next generation of railroad preservationists and community members alike see themselves within the story of the railroad and are able to build stories of their own with this engine.- Cameron Nichols, Indianapolis

Submit your favorite 426 memory or experience! 426 memories will be shared on our website and Facebook page.

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