Bellevue, Ohio – May 2018 – Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum

While I am a fan of all types of transportation, I am not a train fanatic like some. Still, even though we had recently been to a major train museum in Pennsylvania this Saturday brought up another opportunity to check out one closer to home – The Mad River and Nickel Plate Railway Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

The drive up to Bellevue paralleled a major rail line, and a stop in the town of Bucyrus to check out their historic station was interrupted as we waited out a 150 car freight trian.

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Eventually we made it to Bellevue and the Mad River – Nickel Plate Railway Museum. The name requires some explanation – Mad River is flows for 70 miles across Ohio. It gained it’s name from the ‘mad rapids’ that occur along much of the river.

The New York, Chicago and St Louis Railway was founded in the 1880s, but was based in Cleveland. It was given the nickname Nickel Plate from a local newspaper who thought it’s financial prospects were ‘nickel plated’ – or very good.

 

 

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The museum has an indoor area with a number of small artifacts including dinnerware and waiter uniforms.

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One of their prized possessions is the bell from the Lincoln Funeral Train.

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In addition to the rail rolling stock they have a couple of nicely restored trucks.

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What sets this rail museum apart from the others is nearly all of the cars are open for inspection, including numerous cabooses.

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Outdoors are many more rail cars – including numerous box cars that house even more artifacts. Below is a telegraph desk.

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They also have a nice collection of tools – note the ‘track level’

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Many of the cars are connected together to pass between them. All have been restored to original vibrant colors.

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A small station was brought from a nearby town.

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It too is restored to original condition.

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The cars are fairly packed into their yard – but as the rain came this was welcome.

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A manual brake on a car.

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They also have a beautiful postal car.

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As well as some switching lights.

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A diesel locamotive.

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The venting on the side gave it an aerodynamic feel.

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Literally across the tracks was an area with a few more restored cars, as well as a couple un-restored ones next to some cool giant, empty concrete silos.

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But alas we have reached the end of the road. This rail museum is well worth the visit, with their great collections in the rolling stock that allow you to actually go in and check them out.

Given that Bellevue is on multiple active rail lines the constant train whistles in the background made it even better. It was all very cool.

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Hershey, PA – May 2018 – Antique Automobile Club of America

The Antique Automobile Club of America built a nice transportation museum near Hershey, Pennsylvania. More commonly known as the ACCA Museum, it houses a number of automobiles, trucks, buses and motorcycles.

Currently the very cool Hershey Kissmobile is displayed at the front entrance.

 

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The building has 3 levels, with a nice lobby featuring a beautiful ragtop.

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Many of the cars are located within themes.

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The museum has a nice mix of automobiles and trucks – all restored to original condition.

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A full Atlantic Gas Station is displayed, complete with the Service Truck.

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The lower level features the Bus Museum.

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Their current primary exhibit is on Tuckers.

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Three fully restored Tucker’s are shown.

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Cleveland – March 2018 – A Revisit to the Piston Powered Show

Since we have ran out of things to do in Ohio, we are now revisiting some of the better events, including the Piston Powered Show in Cleveland.

Held at the million square foot IX Center, this event features ‘anything with a piston’ including cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and others.

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A custom bike

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Surf’s up on Lake Erie!

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A chopped Beetle.

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As noted, the place is huge – with the airplane being dwarfed by the indoor ferris wheel.

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Some artists were customizing on the spot.

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Lanterns on an antique fire truck.

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The Cleveland Corvette Club.

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Customized 1950s Ford pickup truck.

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Clearly a winner.

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Hey Scoobie…

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Columbus – October 2017 – A Day at the Zoo

The Columbus Zoo was sponsoring a car show, which seems a bit strange, but then again they do commercialize a lot of things.

The cars were quite nice, and with the water park and other amusement rides providing interesting backgrounds, it was a good day for a car show. Plus there were animals later.

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Tacoma, Washington – September 2017 – LeMay Auto Collection

Harold LeMay made his fortune hauling garbage in Tacoma, Washington, but his passion was cars. At his death he owned a record 3000 cars. Today the collection is split into two separate museums.

The first is housed at a formers boys school with a number of buildings.

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The gymnasium make a great setting.

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Sliding doors!

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The had cars stacked 3 high in some places.

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The second museum was in downtown Tacoma and was more formal.

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A Rambler with a Ferrari engine.

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Columbus – July 2017 – Smokin’ Saturday Evening

Each July there is a car event in Columbus called the ‘Goodguys’, which attracts thousands of classic cars to town. After the event on Saturday many make their way to the Polaris area where they gather in a parking lot for Quaker Steak and Lube.

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There was a large collection of (mostly) Harley Davidson motorcycles

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Nearly all of the vehicles were extensively customized.

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The police were on hand – not to give out tickets – but to rate their burnouts.

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Dayton – April 2017 – America’s Packard Museum Revisited

Since we were running ahead on our day in Dayton, we made a return visit to the America’s Packard Museum. We had visited this museum a couple of years ago and were pleasantly surprised to see they had completely rearranged the automobiles on display, swapping out many of them for others in their collection.

 

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The post war collection has been greatly enhanced as well.

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As always with Packard’s there is an amazing collection of hood ornaments.

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Located in a former Packard Dealership in downtown Dayton, the entire place gives off a feel of travelling in time (luxury time travel at that). There are few locations that are as good to visit a second time, but the Packard Museum is one of them.

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