Steam Locomotive Arrives at Hoosier Valley Museum

The arrival of the 0-4-4T sets the stage for the return of steam excursions

The arrival of Bock Lumber Co. No. 1, built by Baldwin in 1908, will allow the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum to offer steam excursions. (Don Nickel)

NORTH JUDSON, Ind. — A working steam locomotive has arrived at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, bringing the museum one step closer to offering steam excursions for the first time in over a decade.

Bock Lumber Co. No. 1, a 0-4-4T Forney type locomotive built by Baldwin in 1908, arrived at the museum on Monday. The museum has entered into a long-term agreement to operate the locomotive, which has just completed a years-long restoration in Illinois.

“This locomotive has such a unique look – something you would normally only find in a storybook,” museum treasurer Robert Barcus said in a recent press release. “She is unlike any other steam locomotive you will see there. It’s really quite impressive. »

Forney type locomotives were primarily built for surface and elevated suburban railways. While narrow gauge Forneys are in service in Maine, Bock Lumber No. 1 will be the only standard gauge Forney in operation in North America.

The museum does not expect steam excursions to begin this year, as its volunteers will first undergo extensive training.

Hoosier Valley last offered steam tours in 2011, in partnership with the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

Small steam locomotive on truck with flatbed trailer
Bock Lumber Co. No. 1, a 0-4-4T Forney type locomotive, arrives at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. (Don Nickel)

Jose P. Rogers