Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad looks toward future of rail tourism

Dear Editor:

It has been a difficult year for our communities with discussions concerning preservation of the historic Nickel Plate Railroad and additional discussions of the Indiana Transportation Museum and its position in Forest Park. They are separate discussions but have nonetheless divided the community in many ways. Our board is comprised of long-time residents of this community, and this saddens us.

While we acknowledge the situation is difficult, the new non-profit Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad Board of Directors has been working diligently to provide a new, safe and entertaining railroad experience to Hamilton County. We hope to launch in mid-2018 with weekend excursions, holiday-themed trains and a dining car experience.

The 12.6-mile track between Noblesville and Atlanta, and the cities in between of Cicero and Arcadia, will be alive with quality programming using new trains for families and adults in our partnership with the Atlanta Pacific Railroad and managed by an experienced operator.

Our programs also will bring visitors to the downtown areas, and we hope to work with parks departments, local community downtown development programs and arts organizations, in addition to other public and private stakeholder groups, to enhance the region as a destination. In fact, community economic development support by the railroad will be a primary focus of our organization as will telling the story of this important historical treasure.

By focusing on the project in this way, local shops and restaurants also will receive the resident and tourism spending dollars that so many believe has disappeared due to the ITM’s departure.

We look forward to serving you and hopefully inspiring you to a new vision for this rail line.


Toni Dickover, President

Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, Inc.

107 S. West St., Arcadia