587 Prior To 1955 Retirement & With Original Tender

587 In Regular Service During The Days Of Steam.

Nickel Plate Road (NKP) No. 587 is a Class H-6o 2-8-2 'Mikado' steam locomotive. It was built in 1918 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Lake Erie & Western Railroad as No. 5541.


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 900-series 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.

In 1989, 587 participated in a double-header, and triple-header with Norfolk and Western (N&W) No. 611, and No. 1218 hauling with a solo passenger train alongside the excursion.

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 put in the restoration shops for restoration due to the fact that it wasn't moved in several years.

On June 28, 2018, a court order decided that 587 would need to be moved out of the ITM shops by July 12, 2018, or the locomotive would be scrapped. The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation has made a deal with the ITM to relocate the 587 and move it out before the deadline. Plans are for the locomotive to be moved to Ravenna, Kentucky and have it stored alongside Chesapeake & Ohio 2716 until the ITM can raise enough funds for restoration, eventually returning the locomotive back to Indiana once restoration is complete.


  • 587 had its very own movie, which was titled 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, Nickel Plate Road 587, and Lots and Lots of Trains.
  • 587's bell was originally hand-rung, but this was eventually converted to being hammer-rung.
  • 587 briefly carried 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 being donated to the Indiana Transportation Museum and restored.
  • In the fall of 2002, the 587 made a final run at the Indiana Transportation Museum before undergoing a 15 year mandatory boiler rebuild. It is hoped that the engine should be back in service around 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.

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