If you have time, and it's not a weekend, stop at the Red Monon Caboose, and spend some time watching the a train pass through the Monon Yard. Don't hang around waiting, as there are only a few trains a day, and often that means one. But if you pass a train on the line, headed in the direction you're going, stop in Monon and wait for it. If there is no train, take a look at the working equipment poised around the switch house, waiting for work.
Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 91.1982.1
Title: Monon, Indiana
Marker Text: Monon-Intersection of the New Albany and Salem (org. 1847) and the Indianapolis, Delphi and Chicago (1878) railroads. These roads later merged to become "The Monon Route," Indiana's beloved "Hoosier Line," and provided over a century of passenger service to the state. The "Monon" was known nationwide for fine passenger and dining service until 1967. One of the first 1st class railroads to completely dieselize (1947), it merged with the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) July 30, 1971.
Credit Line: Presented by the Monon Historical Society, 1982
Directions: US 421/Market Street & E. Third Street, Monon.
A great Restaurant and nice museum. The collection comes from one person, who collected the first class plates and silver from numerous railroads and many pieces of actually railroad equipment and rolling stock. The crane out front is a great first impression. Box cars, cabooses, flat beds, and smaller items litter the grounds and fill the museum. There are short videos about railroading and you can walk through an actual station.
If you like railroads, but aren't into all the details, the restaurant has good food and if you show your receipt, they'll give you a $1 off at the museum.
If you're heading north from Monon, be sure to catch a glimpse of the large limestone (gravel) quarry. Just below the surface of much of the state are beds of limestone. Down south by Shakamak State Park and Bedford, the quarries sell building stone to the world. Here in the north end of the state, gravel is the primary product of these quarries. This particular quarry had a large hopper car of limestone parked along the road. It's both a reminder of what the Monon Railroad shipped in it's early days and a one of a kind railroad car. You see, it's all aluminum! I always think of aluminum cans. And those would not hold the weigth of the gravel shipped by railroad. It's an interesting sight.
The sign reads:
1830 first settlers, Cornelius Sutton
1836 White County organized
1837 first settlement, West Bedford
1841 first school
1853 Construction of Monon railroad. Town of Monon laid out.