Photo provided // Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, in partnership with Atlanta Pacific Rail, announced the acquisition of a historic locomotive that will be used this fall in Hamilton County. Designated as a model F9, it was the most contemporary engine of its type when built.
Photo provided // Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, in partnership with Atlanta Pacific Rail, announced the acquisition of a historic locomotive that will be used this fall in Hamilton County. Designated as a model F9, it was the most contemporary engine of its type when built.

ATLANTA, Ind.— Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, in partnership with Atlanta Pacific Rail, has announced the acquisition of a historic, 1950s locomotive that will be used to power the Nickel Plate Express this fall in northern Hamilton County.

The locomotive was built for Erie Mining Company in August of 1956, by the ElectroMotive Division of General Motors, the largest manufacturer of railroad locomotives in the world.

Designated as a model F9, it was the most contemporary engine of its type when built. It boasts 1,750 horsepower and a 16-cylinder engine. When new, the locomotive would have cost approximately $189, 262.00, according to a press release.

Only 87 similar locomotives were built between 1954 and 1956.

“Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad and Atlanta Pacific Rail are fortunate to have acquired such a historic locomotive to power its trains,” said Tom Hoback, owner of Atlanta Pacific Rail. “This classic locomotive will recreate the high point of rail passenger travel in America during the 1950s.”

Before this particular locomotive was in service, more than 4,000 similar ones were used to pull fast passenger trains throughout North America. The F9 was the culmination of locomotive development through the mid-1950s.

Based on the highly popular design of streamlined passenger locomotives, the engine was used in freight service for many years in the Iron Range until acquired by Powell Felix for use on his Vermillion Valley Railroad near Covington, Indiana.

The historic F9 locomotive will pull Nickel Plate Express’ Santa Fe El Capitan Hi-level passenger cars when operations begin this fall. Excursions will operate regularly every Saturday and Sunday from Atlanta, Indiana, to Noblesville.

Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad Inc. is a non-profit based in Atlanta, Indiana. The organization will serve as the governing body for the new heritage railroad operation, Nickel Plate Express. It will manage train programming and marketing with excursion rail service contracted to Atlanta Pacific Rail, LLC.