The NKP 500-series 2-8-2 'Mikado' is an externally-similar counter-part to Lima's 2-8-4 Berkshires built for the NKP, but initially served as a replacement for the 2-8-4 Berkshires, due to the 2-8-2 Mikados becoming very aged.
In 1924, the Lake Erie & Western railroad No. 5541 was renumbered as NKP 587.
587 is the best remaining representation of the Mikado 2-8-2 locomotive style originally designed and built as part of the World War I rearmament program.
587 was retired from active service in 1955, it was later donated to the city of Indianapolis and was placed on static display in Broad Ripple Park were it remained there for twenty eight years. In 1983, a group called "The Friends of the 587" formed and did a feasibility study and determined that the locomotive was good for restoration.
After five years of work, 587 returned to operating condition in 1988 and pulled it's first revenue train in September 1988 from Indianapolis to Logansport, Indiana.
During the 1990's, it also ran several excursions with NKP 'Berkshire' No. 765, which is often considered to be its (her) "step-sister" due to them being the only other NKP Berkshire and Mikado steam locomotives to be preserved in operating condition.
Since 2003, this steam locomotive has been preserved at the Indiana Transportation Museum, but in 2002, 587 was in the restoration shops for restoration due to the fact that it wasn't moved in several years.
587 has it's very own movie known as 587: The Great Train Robbery. It was also featured in other videos such as I Love Toy Trains as part of the "real trains" segments and in the early episode(s) of Choo Choo Trains: Up Close and Personal, The Alphabet Train, Steam to the State Fair, and Lots and Lots of Trains.
587's bell originally was hand-rung, but was eventually converted to being hammer-rung.
The whistle also was briefly a single-chime whistle similar to what was used on most of the C&O's Berkshire steam locomotives.
As of 2008, the ownership of NKP 587 was officially transferred from the Indianapolis Parks Department to the Indiana Transportation Museum
In September 1955, NKP 587 was donated to the city of Indianapolis where it used to be on display at Broad Ripple Park in Indianapolis, IN before when the Indiana Transportation Museum restore it.
In the fall of 2002, the 587 made a final run at the Indiana Transportation Museum before it's undergoing a 15 year mandatory boiler rebuild and that's why the 587 didn't run for a couple of years and it will be back to service around either 2018 or 2019.
Prior to being put on display, the locomotive's original tender was switched with another NKP steam engine #639, because the tender on 639 was in need of repair and 587's original tender was in good mechanical condition.