On behalf of the City of Hammond, Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. has donated Engine #624 as surplus historical property to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. The Society is a non-profit organization specializing in preserving and restoring railroad equipment.
In March of 1955, the Nickel Plate Railroad donated the 1922 locomotive engine to the City of Hammond with the provision that the City will protect and maintain the engine so that it will not become unsightly. It has made its home across the street from the Civic Center. Since 1955, the condition of the locomotive engine has declined.
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society expressed an interest in acquiring, restoring and display engine #624 in Fort Wayne at Headwaters Junction. They will disassemble, remove and transport engine #624 for full mechanical restoration at no cost to the citizens of Hammond. Once restored, the engine will be named “City of Hammond.” “It’s been disheartening to see the deterioration over the years,” stated Mayor McDermott. “I’m happy to see it go to a good home.”