Group Rescues ITM Traction Cars

A newly-formed organization has rescued a number of traction cars that were left behind when the Indiana Transportation Museum was forced out of its long-time home in Noblesville, Indiana, last July.

The Hoosier Heartland Trolley Company has taken possession of Indiana Union Traction interurban cars Nos. 429 and 437; Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern interurban car No. 81; and Indianapolis Street Railway car No. 153.

No. 153 is the last remaining streetcar from the Indianapolis system. Built in 1935, it operated through 1953.

Although it is a state of advanced deterioration due to having been stored outside for several years, the Hoosier Heartland group is optimistic No. 153 can be restored.

The 429 and 437 were built in 1925 by the St. Louis Car Company while No. 81, a wood car built by Jewett, was built in 1902. It is reported to be the oldest surviving Jewett car.

Hoosier Heartland said it plans to initially restore No. 429 because it in the best condition of its new collection from having been stored inside.

The group hopes to get No. 429 operational by 2025. First, though, it must build a home for its collection.

It has raised about $30,000 thus far toward that end, including receiving $3,500 from Indiana Landmarks.

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