Frankfort Roundhouse

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio


Frankfort Roundhouse

Post by rej70 » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:15 am

A private not-for-profit group is taking over the Frankfort (Nickel Plate/N & W) roundhouse from Norfolk Southern. Apparently, it will be used as part of a future railroad museum. One of the involved group members is retired from Norfolk Southern and has been active in preservation of Clinton County (Frankfort) history.


Roundhouse placed on 10 most endangered landmarks list

Post by CHomko » Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:10 pm

What is the name of the group? Any details?? Only info I have is that the roundhouse was placed on the 10 most endangered Indiana landmarks list. Here is the info from the website:

10 Most Endangered (2004)

Frankfort Roundhouse
(New on 10 Most list)
Between Morrison and Walnut streets on west side of Frankfort

In the age of the iron horse, engines and cars needed frequent servicing for ash removal, lubrication, coal and water replenishment, and repairs. The roundhouse as a building type developed to shelter radiating tracks and stalls for servicing engines, accessed via a rotating turntable. Beginning in the 1870s, Frankfort was a locomotive and rail car repair hub, a division point where many lines converged. In 1924, Frankfort got a new roundhouse and turntable, repair facilities called “shops,” and offices, with some elements of the earlier complex remaining.

The threat: In spite of its well-deserved role as a railroad nexus, Indiana has lost nearly all of its roundhouses. Norfolk & Southern owns Frankfort’s abandoned Clover Leaf-Nickel Plate Railroad Roundhouse and seven associated structures (two others were recently demolished). In addition to environmental challenges arising from the property’s long history as an industrial site, the rare steam-age survivor faces demolition by neglect.

For more information contact:
Tommy Kleckner
Director, Western Regional Office
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana Western Regional Office, Terre Haute
Neil Conner
Clinton County Historical Society


Answering my own question

Post by CHomko » Mon May 17, 2004 10:28 am

Got an email back from Tommy Kleckner of Historic Landmarks, here is what he said:

Hi Chris -

It's great to hear of your interest in assisting in the saving and preserving of the Frankfort roundhouse. At this time, I am working with a small committee of locals, however, a non-profit organization has been formed that we hope will eventually be the recipient of the building from Norfolk Southern. This organization is called the Nickel Plate & Monon Preservation Society, Inc. Norfolk Southern has been very cooperative and would like to transfer the property to a local organization but is very much wanting assurance that the organization is viable. An initial concept that is being considered at this time is a railroad heritage museum, conference facility, and restaurant. Again, this is only conceptual but I believe feasible given the location of the roundhouse.

We are also keeping close ties with the city as several possible funding options will require the city serving as the financial sponsor. The two individuals that I would recommend you contact are:

David Little
765/654-4340 (work)

Neil Conner
765/654-5617 (home)

Both gentlemen have been involved in past efforts and the current effort to save this unique structure. They should be able to provide suggestions as to how you may assist. I am copying David Little on this e-mail so that he may also respond immediately to your inquiry.

Thanks again for your interest in the preservation of the Frankfort roundhouse.


Tommy Kleckner, Director
Western Regional Office
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana
643 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, Indiana 47807

A friend of mine told me that this is the same group that has tried to do this in the past. Guess we will have to see what happens this time around.

Return to “Midwestern Railfan”