TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - In Terre Haute, the sights and sound of a train are more than common. They usually mean an unavoidable stop on life's busy journey.
However, at one place the sights and sounds are a window into history.
The sound of a train would be familiar for someone in a control tower; passing rail cars passing the day.
It was the heyday for a rail car attraction that once used to sit at Dobbs Park in Terre Haute.
However, time is as both cruel as it is beneficial, eventually leaving this popular attraction in shambles.
"It was destined for the trash pile," said Mayor Duke Bennett.
"We stepped up and said we'd take it if the city would give it to us," said Bill Foster from the Wabash Valley Railroaders Museum.
Just a few volunteers working together, putting in countless man hours,. restoring this rusted relic.
"A lot of times it's just someone coming out here in the evening and working on the project, or working on part of something and then coming back a couple days later and doing the rest of it; or someone else would follow up," said Foster.
Five years later, a caboose that trains used to tow behind is now the face of the museum.
Outside, it's back to it's original finish, a surprising brown.
Inside, everything is operational, just like when it ran the lines through neighborhoods.
"You come in and you can still see the stove, and the water, and the refrigerator, and the beds," said Mayor Bennett, "they've just restored every piece of it."
It's that kind of surprised reaction this museum wanted to create.
"I like the wow factor," said Foster, "I like the jaw drop."
It gives visitors a different perspective, and hopefully a new appreciation of these old-time obstacles.
If you would like to visit the Wabash Valley Railroaders Museum, it is open weekend through October. It is located at 1316 Plum Street in Terre Haute.
The museum isn't through upgrading yet. Next they want to bring a World War II pull-man troop car up from Alabama.
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