FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vice President of Marketing and Development
Group of young preservationists announce the formation of the nonprofit
Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co.
July 15, 2018 - Indianapolis, Ind. - A group of historic preservationists is pleased to announce the formation of the Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co. The group is a forming nonprofit preservation organization dedicated to the interpretation, preservation, and operation of historic railroad artifacts significant to Indiana’s rich, yet mostly forgotten electric railway history.
The Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co. exists to spark imagination in people across all walks of life to experience the art, science, culture, technology and economic empowerment of Indiana’s world-renowned electric railway industry from the 20th century.
At one point, Indianapolis was home to the largest interurban terminal in the world - all in the heart of downtown. The interurban was the way to travel via electric railway cars between major Indiana towns and cities, prior to the reign of the automobile.
Today, only a few streetcars and interurbans from Indiana’s extensive electric railway systems remain in existence. “A paramount need exists to preserve the industry’s legacy of thousands employed, hundreds of communities served, and millions of people moved,” commented Hoosier Heartland President Austin Mace.
“The interurban and streetcar network was the way to get to work, visit family, and simply move about the city to shop, conduct business or grab a cup of coffee. These cars not only represent the technology and science of the period, but are a gateway to educating future generations about the economic development, cultural, and societal development of Indiana,” added Vice President of Marketing and Development Cameron Nichols.
To that end, Hoosier Heartland is honored to announce the emergency rescue and acquisition of four electric railroad artifacts through cooperation from the Indiana Transportation Museum-
Indiana Union Traction 429, “The Noblesville” - an “interurban” built in 1925 used to transport people between towns and cities within Indiana for business and leisure
Indiana Union Traction 437, “The Marion” - an “interurban” built in 1925 used to transport people between towns and cities within Indiana for business and leisure
Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern 81 - an “interurban” built out of wood in 1902 to transport people and bottles of milk between Indianapolis and Martinsville, Ind.
Indianapolis Street Railway 153 - a streetcar built in 1935 for the Indianapolis streetcar system - of which is the sole surviving streetcar from Indianapolis
Founding members Jakob Stage and William Whitmer stepped up to the challenge to acquire the aforementioned cars from the Indiana Transportation Museum - of which were among numerous pieces facing seizure by the City of Noblesville on the Museum’s July 13th eviction from its long-time Forest Park home. The group is currently filing articles of incorporation with the State of Indiana, and will then proceed to apply for 501 (c) 3 status, confirm a founding board and adopt bylaws to launch the organization’s formal fundraising and development efforts.
The City of Noblesville has assured Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co. that the cars will be able to be removed from their Forest Park location following the formulation of an asset removal plan by the city. Cars will then be transported to a privately owned, sheltered facility in Central Indiana, upon removal from Forest Park.
For updates on Hoosier Heartland’s preservation efforts, background, as well as details on how you can help, connect with us on social media and our website - hoosiertrolley.org.
About Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co. - Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co. was founded in 2018 to save the last remaining pieces of Indiana’s electric railway heritage. The organization exists to spark imagination in people across all walks of life to experience the art, science, culture, technology and economic empowerment of Indiana’s world-renowned electric railway industry from the 20th century. More information regarding preservation efforts, news, development and ways to support can be found at hoosiertrolley.org.