Box Car

The John Hay Center spent several years attempting to have possession of a historical 40 foot metal boxcar, but the interest was originally overlooked and disregarded. 

Stephanie Vines, a local historian and depot manager, explained that the boxcar is now going to be restored and the excitement that comes with it. 

“There aren’t many 40 footers because they had a break problem and could only carry smaller loads,” said Vines. 

Radius Indiana purchased the CXS rail corridor and in turn, obtained the boxcar. It is likely one of the last L and N boxcars in North America. 

Radius Indiana is a “regional development organization established in 2009.”

The group reached out to the John Hay Center with the knowledge of their interest, and they are now considering renovating it into an Airbnb. 

“It [the boxcar] is going to shift up about 20 feet closer to Main Street, and be mounted on a concrete foundation,” said Vines. 

According to Radius, the boxcar will be blue and gold once more, placed at the trailhead of the Monon South Trail. The trail is going to be a 57 mile trail that connects eight local communities. The trailhead will be located in downtown Salem, two blocks from the courthouse square. 

There is a goal of raising $25,000 to support and fund the project. If this goal is reached, CreatINg Places will fund a matching grant of $25,000. November 25 is the deadline for donating. 

Boxcar restoration will begin in the spring of 2024, if the goal is met. 

You can support the project through donating or speaking about it on social media. You can also donate through visiting the Depot Railroad Museum or mailing a check to Radius Indiana, 1504 l Street Bedford, in 47421. 

More information about the project and donations can be found: here