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Future of caboose along the Monon Trail uncertain

The city now owns a caboose that has been alongside the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple for nearly 50 years.

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been a staple in the heart of Broad Ripple since the 1970s, once known as The Little Red Caboose, along the Monon Trail. It’s not red anymore and now its future in Broad Ripple is undecided. 

The caboose belongs to the City of Indianapolis now, as of just last week. It became the city’s after the current owner refused to move it after the city asked them to. 

The city says it has been trying to get the caboose out of there since 2015, when the then-owner violated a lease agreement in 2014 by not making payments to keep the caboose there. 

The city says it plans to widen the Monon Trail to allow more people to use it, but hasn’t decided what to do with the caboose. 

Rail enthusiasts think it needs to stay right where it is. 

“It’s been here since the '70s. No need to move it. It’s part of our history and with all the development in Broad Ripple these days, we need to preserve our history, especially our rail history,” said Bill Malcolm with the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance. 

The city says they haven’t decided what will happen to the caboose. 

“The city is really evaluating the next steps. It really has only been under our ownership for a week now and we do want to make sure we take some careful time just to evaluate what’s going to be the best approach for that specific spot on the Monon,” said Ronnetta Spalding with Indy Parks. 

RELATED: City orders long-time Broad Ripple caboose removed from property

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