Indiana State Fair train won’t run this year due to safety concerns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana State Fair train will not run during this year’s event because of concerns about track safety.

The Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville announced Wednesday the train will not run during the fair that begins Friday.

The museum operates the train that has carried people from Indianapolis’ northern suburbs to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for more than 30 years, including an estimated 15,000 people last year.

Museum board chairman Jeffrey S. Kehler says some of the volunteers running the train have alleged that the tracks and signals used by the train were unsafe.

Kehler released this statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“In recent weeks, Indiana Transportation Museum and Hoosier Heritage Port Authority have communicated with each other multiple times per week.  Today, HHPA informed ITM that HHPA is continuing the suspension of ITM’s operations on the HHPA rail line.  This means that ITM will not be operating the FairTrain this year. We are of course saddened that we will not be able to provide this unique experience for families this year.

We will continue to work with HHPA, its rail consultant, and others associated with HHPA.  ITM’s goal continues to be to provide such information and take such other actions as needed to enable HHPA to lift the suspension.

Our record of safety is unparalleled in our over 30-year operating history and we will continue that record as we go forward.”

Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear also issued a statement on Wednesday:

“We’re disappointed to hear that the Indiana State Fair Train will not be running this year, but the safety of riders is our top priority. We know thousands of families have a tradition and enjoy riding the train to the fair because of the unique experience it provides. However, we agree with the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority’s decision to keep suspending train operations until we are certain that no one’s safety is in jeopardy.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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