On May 20-21, 2017 I visited the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville, Indiana and rode with their crews for 2 days.
This is their depot, not the original, but built for their operation.
This railroad is 19 miles long and their regular train, the Valley Flyer, runs 16 miles from downtown Connersville to Metamora. The last 2 miles at Metamora are run as short runs called the Metamora Shuttle for tourists at a cost of only $5. The other mile extends north to the now abandoned connection with the outside world.
The yard is located almost 1 mile south of the depot. With lots of equipment and not many tracks, staging the trains usually requires 2 engines. They have a large shop composed of an old warehouse and a new metal-side building for housing and working on equipment.
Here their 55-tonner, used on the Metamora Shuttle, shoves its train (the first 3 cars) and the Flyer's cars north toward town. It will cut off its cars and head to Metamora for the days action. The Flyer's engine will then shove its train into town to pick up passengers.
Here is some of their equipment. The blue car is their steam car used for heating their cars during the winter runs.
The former Milwaukee Road SD9, upgraded to an SD10, will be used today for Throttle Time. For XX, railfans can run an engine for 1/2 hour. However, the batteries are shot and the engine has to be jump started. Later in the day, the new batteries will be installed.
Our engine, #25, was made by Lima-Hamilton in June, 1951. There are only 4 surviving Lima-Hamilton units and the WWV has 3 of them! The fourth is a static display at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois. There were only 174 L-H engines produced. The engine was made for the Cincinnati Union Terminal Railroad, a switching railroad in Cincinnati. It was purchased in 1973 from the Cadillac & Lake City RR which had obtained it from the CUT.
Here is the interior of the cab of #25.
Here is our train for today, ready to be shoved uptown.
Inside one of the coaches.
The railroad is built on a canal horse path. When the canal went bankrupt, the railroad purchased the walkway and had a ready-made roadbed. The canal followed the Whitewater River and of course the horse path paralleled the canal so the old canal is visible all along the line. Since the river curves, the canal curves, and so this beautiful railroad has many curves. Also, at each lock location, the path had to suddenly change elevation so the track today as short rapid elevation changes. Track speed is max 15 MPH.
Come along for a beautiful ride on an early summer afternoon. Leaving town.
The track closely follows the Whitewater River in many places.
Crossing the river.
There are many remains of the old canal.
As we enter Metamora, the Metamora Shuttle arrives from the south after another run.
After the canal was abandoned, a water wheel was built to power the grist mill.