Visiting the Renovated Hobbs Station

Earlier this month tourist train operator Nickel Plate Express and the parks department of Noblesville, Indiana, held a grand opening ceremony to celebrate the renovation of the Hobbs Station site.

The complex will serve as the boarding site for all Nickel Plate Express trains, which operate over a 12.4-mile segment of a former Nickel Plate Road branch line that once ran from Indianapolis to Michigan City, Indiana.

Today Nickel Plate Express trains operate between Noblesville and Atlanta, Indiana.

The station is a former NKP depot that once stood in Hobbs, Indiana, on the former Lake Erie & Western.

It was brought to Noblesville in 1967. The station sits where the former Indiana Transportation Museum sat in Forest Park until being evicted by the city in 2018. Some former rolling stock from the ITM collection is still on site.

Renovation of the Hobbs Station was a $1.6 million project that included landscaping and walking paths, a restroom addition, historic signs and paved parking. A covered platform was constructed in the boarding area.

The station complex re-opened on June 6. Nickel Plate Express operates primarily on Saturdays and offers caboose rides and various theme-train excursions.

I visited the site on June 25 on a day when 15-minute caboose rides were being offered.

Passengers rode in a former Monon caboose pulled by a former NKP GP7.

Noblesville officials hope that the train rides will serve to attract tourist to the expansive park which itself has many attractions including a golf course and merry-go-round.

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