Railroading in Indiana

Tour curated by: Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

One of the key events of United States history in the 1800’s was the expansion of the railroad. It revolutionized transportation, the economy, population progression towards the West Coast, industry, and several other areas. Located firmly in the Midwest, Indiana was a part of the country that dealt with the changes brought on by the railroads.

This tour highlights locations that are central to Indiana’s railroad narrative. From stations and depots to actual locomotives, Railroading in Indiana provides an in-depth look at the effect this system had on the state. Discover Indiana invites you to take a journey across the 19th state and learn the role that railroads have played in several Indiana communities.

Please keep in mind that each tour is by no means a comprehensive list of sites in Indiana related to each theme. Please be respectful of private property lines when visiting each of these sites.

Locations for Tour

In 1851, the New Albany and Salem Railroad Station was constructed in New Albany, IN as a stop along the railroad known as the Monon Railroad. This station was the most elaborate stop on this important early Midwestern line. Other than fueling the…

The construction in 1866-67 of the Junction Railroad, which extended from Hamilton, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana, provided the first great impetus to Morristown, IN’s growth. The railroad later became part of the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and…

The town of Scottsburg, Indiana is a railroad town that was platted out in 1870 to take advantage of the Jeffersonville branch of the Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indiana Railroad, which connected Hoosiers to the large and developing market of…

Though the town of Pleasant Lake was originally platted in 1846, it did not see much growth until 1870 when the it was replatted to the west so as to be closer to the tracks for the Fort Wayne, Jackson, and Saginaw Railroad. The depot itself was…

The Carmel Monon Depot was built in 1883 in Carmel, Indiana and abuts the path where the Monon Railroad ran until 1974. The building served as both a passenger and freight depot until the services were discontinued in 1961 and 1974, respectively.…

The Wabash Railroad Depot in New Haven, Indiana was built in 1890 and served a locally significant role in the history of transportation. It is a prime example of a small town, wood framed, Stick style depot. It’s also the only small town…

The Reuben Wells is a 55-ton wood-burning steam locomotive which was designed and built in 1868 at $18,345.40 by Reuben Wells, master mechanic of the Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad. After around 30 years of service, it was donated…

Nickel Plate Road No. 587 is perhaps the best remaining example of a United States Administration (USRA) light Mikado steam locomotive, an outstanding design developed during World War I rearmament. This versatile and universally successful…