Today's News

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Offers Mint Festival Train Rides

Hoosier Valley Railroad MuseumThis weekend during the North Judson Mint Festival, patrons will have the opportunity to ride the rails at the Hoosier Valley Rail Road Museum. Passengers have their choice of riding in a vintage caboose, an open-air car or a vintage commuter coach. The train will leave the depot for the 10-mile round-trip excursions to English Lake/Kankakee River at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The longer, 20-mile round-trip excursion to LaCrosse, lasts approximately two hours and leaves the depot at 2 p.m. Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Gives Generously to Local Organizations

A number of charitable organizations are on the receiving end of more than $40,000 in grants from the Starke County Community Foundation. The gifts are made possible through the foundation’s endowment fund, which is supported by gifts to the SCCF. The money is invested. Each year some of the interest goes back into the fund to help it grow, while some is given locally in the form of scholarships and grants. Continue reading

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Offers Easter Trains This Weekend

HVRM Tourist Train

HVRM Tourist Train

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson will be giving Easter Train Rides beginning on April 19th.

The excursion is a round-trip from the depot and crosses the Kankakee River and English Lake in a trip that goes over five miles. The trip also travels to a park along the tracks where passengers disembark to take part in an Easter Egg Hunt.

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HVRM Hosts Santa Trains on Dec. 7, 14

HVRM Tourist Train

HVRM Tourist Train

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is ringing in the holidays with their third annual Santa Trains, featuring Santa Claus himself aboard as passengers take a round-trip train ride from North Judson to the Kankakee River and back. Marketing Specialist Loretta Kosloske said Santa Claus also has a gift bag for the passengers as well.

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Enjoy the Fall Colors During a HVRM Train Ride

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson is offering several special excursions in the month of October.

Not only will you enjoy a train ride to the English Lake area on the Pumpkin Train on Oct. 5 and Oct. 19, you will have the chance to choose and purchase a pumpkin for only $1.50 in the HVRM pumpkin patch.

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HVRM to Celebrate 25th Anniversary Saturday

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson will hold its 25th Anniversary Celebration and Open House on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The event-filled day begins at 9 a.m. with a flag ceremony by the American Legion Post #92 and music by the Knox High School Band. Magic shows, the Fair Oaks Mobile Dairy Classroom, buggy rides, storytelling, corn hole, horseshoes, motor car rides, Irish music by the Culver Pipe and Drum Corps, bluegrass music by the Peter Nye Band are just a few activities featured.

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Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum to Host Civil War Encampment

A Civil War encampment will make an appearance at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum next weekend.

A Civil War encampment will make an appearance at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum next weekend.

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum will be making a trip back in time on Saturday, Aug. 17 as Civil War encampments are established in the area. Railroading played a huge part in the Civil War, and the HVRM will allow visitors to wander through the encampment and experience the life of early soldiers as reenactors from the Indiana 20th Volunteers and the 4th Battery Light Artillery play the part.

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Railroad Crossing Work Planned at the End of July

Work will be done on some railroad crossings in Starke County at the end of the month.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum volunteers, Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad Company and the Starke County Highway Department will start the work on Tuesday, July 30 with the closure of the Toto Road grade crossing. The closure of the 650 West grade crossing at English Lake will take place on Wednesday, July 31. Surface work will be done at both locations on Thursday, Aug. 1.

The railroad grade crossings are expected to reopen to traffic on Friday, Aug. 2.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Celebrating 25th Anniversary

HVRM Tourist Train

HVRM Tourist Train

It’s been 25 years since the arrival of a locomotive at the Mint Festival prompted the Miami County Steam Locomotive Association to reform under the name “The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.” In 1988, the Chesapeake & Ohio 2789 steam locomotive was put on display for Mint Festival patrons after its recent arrival in North Judson from Peru, and the association decided to move to the end of what was once the Erie-Lackawanna railroad tracks. The new location, near three other former railroads – the New York Central, Pennsylvania, and Chesapeake & Ohio – featured no buildings, very little track, and a lone phone sitting on a cinder block next to the telephone pole.

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Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Celebrates 25th Anniversary

HVRM Tourist Train

HVRM Tourist Train

The 25th anniversary of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum kicks off Saturday, May 4, with 25 percent off all train excursion fares for the entire day. Round-trip excursions start at the North Judson depot and travel across the Kankakee River through the Starke and LaPorte County countryside, providing passengers with beautiful sights and sounds as they travel in open-air cars, vintage cabooses, or a commuter coach.

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North Judson to Soon Repair U.S. 30 Railroad Crossing Near Hanna

The town of North Judson received help from state representatives Douglas Gutwein and Tom Dermody, as well as Senator Ed Charbonneau and INDOT Representative Robert Alderman with the goal of obtaining funds to proceed with the repairs to the railroad crossing on U.S. 30 near Hanna. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry said the town has been working on getting the project under way since last summer.

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Easter Train Rides at HVRM on March 30

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year!

To kick off the year-long celebration, Easter train rides are being offered on Saturday, March 30. You will be able to ride in vintage cabooses, a passenger coach, or open-air sightseeing cars. The train ride is a round-trip five-mile excursion that will take you over the Kankakee River at English Lake and through some countryside before returning to North Judson. A stop will be made along the way where passengers can participate in an Easter Egg hunt and a visit with the Easter Bunny.

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Civil War Reenactment To Take Place Near Hoosier Valley RR Museum

Go back in time at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson this weekend and experience the huge impact railroading had on the Civil War.

On Saturday, Aug. 18, residents are encouraged to wander through the Civil War encampment and experience the life of early soldiers. Among the reenactors will be the Indiana 20th Volunteers Division, including their leader, Col. John Wheeler – a soldier from Crown Point who was killed near Devil’s Den during the Battle of Gettysburg.

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North Judson Approves Fire Protection Contract

The North Judson Town Board approved the fire protection contract with Wayne Township at a price of $23,000, which is the same price paid in 2011. Two installments of $11,500 are paid to the Township a year for the service.

Mark Knebel from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum told the Board that 6,280 people rode the trains this year. Since 2006, 22,452 have traveled on the Museum’s tourist trains. He said they were sold out on all Santa trains this year and had riders from Michigan and from the western part of Chicago.

Train Derails during Ride from North Judson to LaCrosse

Crews work to put the cars back on the track after a derailment in LaCrosse

A train excursion from North Judson to LaCrosse almost turned deadly yesterday when five cars of the train derailed. The cars were being pulled by the historic 765 steam engine when the cars suddenly left the track.

Mark Knebel from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Organization talked about the mishap.

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Historic Locomotive No. 765 to Visit Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

Locomotive No. 765

The staff at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum are gearing up for another busy season with train rides and visits to the Museum on Mulberry Street in North Judson.

The Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765 will be making another trip to the Museum during the Memorial Day weekend, May 28th through the 30th. Recognized as a national historic landmark, locomotive no. 765 is the largest operating steam locomotive east of the Mississippi River. It was rebuilt and is operated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The locomotive will take passengers on a 2 hour, 20 mile round-trip journey in Starke County. Passengers will have the rare opportunity to enjoy “the steam experience” in an open-air sightseeing car.

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Search Warrant Served at Scrap Yard May have Uncovered Stolen Items from Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

North Judson Police Chief, Doug Vessely, told the North Judson Town Board this week that a recent search warrant conducted at the scrap yard in Knox by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Knox City Police Department and the North Judson Police Department may have uncovered stolen property from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson. Museum staff had reported joint bars stolen plus other items worth thousands of dollars. The incident remains under investigation.

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Two Knox Residents Arrested on Burglary, Theft

Patrick Sobieck

Richard Selva

Several thousands of dollars worth of railroad metals were retrieved from the Starke County Recycling Company this morning after Knox City Police and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Police officers executed a search warrant at that location. This is part of an ongoing investigation of a theft report that was filed Saturday night and led to the arrest of Patrick Sobieck and Richard Selva.

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North Judson Police Investigate Vandalism at Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

The North Judson Police Department investigated vandalism and damage to property at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.

On Wednesday, April 6th, officer Dennis Fornelli located three juvenile males on the grounds of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, in and around the train cars. After a short time, the three were picked up and transported to their respective parents. The following morning, the volunteers at the Museum reported to officer Joe Budner that several train cars, the building, and equipment had been vandalized and damaged. Many windows were broken out as well. Police returned and conducted interviews with the three juveniles and learned they had done the damage. A complete investigative report was furnished to the Starke County Probation Department and the Prosecutor’s Office requesting charges and restitution from the juveniles.

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