Grant to Aid Restoration of Indiana Transit Car

The Indiana Historical Society has awarded a $40,000 grant to the Hoosier Heartland Trolley Company in support of its efforts to restore to operating condition an interurban car.

The car, which was operated by the Union Traction Company of Indianapolis, has not moved under its own power in more than 80 years.

Hoosier Heartland said the grant will enable it to get Car 429 operating by early 2023. The group must also raise $6,000 on its own.

Car 429 was part of the collection of the now dormant Indiana Transportation Museum before it was evicted from its site in Forest Park in Noblesville, an Indianapolis suburb.

Hoosier Heartland was founded in 2018 for the purpose of restoring cars that once operated throughout the state on electric interurban and city railways.

In addition to Car 429, Hoosier Heartland also owns sister cars 427 and a 1902 Jewitt car, Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern 8.

It also acquired Indianapolis Railways 153, built by Brill in 1932. The Indy streetcar network shut down in 1953.

Restoration of Car 429 also was aided by earlier grants from IHS and the Lilly Endowment.

Those grants were used to overhaul electrical and mechanical components of the car’s propulsion and braking systems.

More information about the project can be found at the website of Railfan and Railroad magazine at

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