Chesterton Tribune



Board eyes Monon livery for boxcar restroom and Norfolk Southern for caboose

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The Chesterton Park Board has decided whose railroad liveries the boxcar restroom and caboose community space in Thomas Centennial Park will wear.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the board voted unanimously to paint the boxcar in the barn red of the Monon Railroad--the historic “Hoosier Line” which ran chiefly in Indiana from 1897 to 1956--with “Monon” in white lettering and “The Hoosier Line” in red lettering across a white strip at the top.

The caboose, on the other hand, will be painted in the classic red of the Norfolk Southern, with “NS” in white italic lettering next to the silhouette of a horse’s head.

The boxcar is a bunkerless refrigerator car--built, that is, without ice tanks or ventilation devices--manufactured in 1962 by Pacific Car & Freight for the Northern Pacific Railroad. The board purchased it in January, at a cost of $9,000, from the Orville Railroad Heritage Society in Orville, Ohio, where arrangements are currently being made to transport it by truck to a shop in Michigan City--Michael Steward’s Preferred Contractors--where it will be retrofitted for use as a restroom facility.

Richard Riley, the owner of Riley’s Railhouse at 123 N. Fourth St. in Chesterton and the original proposer of the restroom project, told the board on Monday that the boxcar could hit the road today, Friday, March 16. Members voted unanimously to authorize Park Administrator Hilary Thomas-Peterson to cut a manual check in the amount of $4,500 for partial payment to the transport contractor, Schlatter Inc., which specializes in moving railroad cars.

The caboose, meanwhile, is a 1950s-era rear-cupola model, which the board purchased from Steward, also in January, for $15,000. Steward has put the cost of retrofitting the caboose into a warming/cooling station and community space at $16,500.

In related business, members voted unanimously to solicit specs from at least three vendors for the retrofit of the box car, with the quotes to be opened at its next meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 3.

They also voted unanimously to enter into a contract with architect Robert Nicksic of James F. Giannini & Associates, at a cost of $5,885, to design the canopy of the wooden ADA access ramp. Nicksic previously designed the interior of the boxcar.


Posted 3/16/2018




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