The New York Central Railroad is one of the most classic railroads in the history of the railroad in the United States of America. The railroad was famous for its upscale passenger trains and fancy steam locomotives. It was also known for its speedy trains avoiding most of the mountain regions of the states it served. With all these great trains would it be great to have a museum to keep the memories of the New York Central Railroad alive. The good news is that there is a museum… in Indiana?
Why is the National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart, Indiana and not in the state of New York? That is a very good question. The answer is because Elkhart was hub for the railroad having a huge railyard, the second largest yard east of the Mississippi River, that is still in use today although now by the Norfolk Southern Railroad. This made the town of Elkhart, Indiana a great place for the New York Central Railroad Museum.
You enter the parking lot of the museum. You see the NYC Caboose 19211 and the NYC City of Elkhart Dining Car. You see two other passenger cars and Locomotive 4085. There is more rolling stock, but you will want to go inside to pay the admission first.
Now you are inside. If you think that there is nothing really to see inside, you are sadly mistaken. After you peek at the inside of the dining car and look at the old switchboard, you enter the display rooms. Lanterns and model trains and a luggage cart and a display of the ticket master’s office and many tools are on display. While here, you cannot leave without seeing the model train display. While there, you can see the walls full of model trains.
Now you are finished on the inside, and you want to go outside.
You walk past the Number 4085, and you go inside. You sit in the engineer’s seat and get the view of the engineer. The problem is that you are at the museum and will not be going anywhere. You walk over to Number 3001. You stare. You still stare. This is one impressive locomotive. You walk by the rolling stock, and then you feel disappointed that you time is over. Maybe not. You may need to stick around for some Norfolk Southern trains or Amtrak to roll by.
The National New York Central Railroad Museum is housed in and old freight house. It displays the history of the New York Central Railroad through all its routes. It is located at 721 S. Main Street in Elkhart, Indiana just south of the railroad crossing and across the tracks from the town center and the old train station. It is a ten-minute drive from the Indiana Turnpike (Interstates 80 and 90) and a five-minute drive from U.S. 20. It is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Sunday. (Closed Monday.) Admission is $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors 61 and older and children 4 to 12 with children 3 and under free. Parking is free and on site. You can get more information at https://www.elkhartindiana.org/department/?fDD=54-0.
Come to the National New York Central Railroad Museum. Enjoy a little New York style… in northern Indiana.