Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

About the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum


Mad River

History of the Museum

One of the earliest railroads that ran through Bellevue in 1839 was the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad, and the first engineer of the "Sandusky", Thomas Hogg.

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Society, a non-profit organization, chose this as part of our name when we formed. In 1976 we opened the museum as a lasting bicentennial project. Henry Flagler, who built the Florida East Coast Railroad once lived on the property where the museum is now located.

NKP is the AAR reporting mark for the Nickel Plate Road (New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Company) which ran through Bellevue from 1882 until 1964 when it merged with the Norfolk & Western Railway. Bellevue was a hub for the Nickel Plate operations and a division point for the railroad's Buffalo to Chicago route. Bellevue housed the principal classification yards, the largest roundhouse in the system, all maintenance of way equipment for the road, the principal icing station, an engine terminal for both diesel and steam, headquarters of the general superintendent, and facilities that were used by four of the Nickel Plate's divisions.

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Society Anthology

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Society proudly presents the first ever book about the museum - an Anthology. The Anthology is a book written about the railroad history of Bellevue and Northern Ohio. It documents the making of the Mad River and NKP Railroad Society Museum. It is a collection of stories about the hard work and dedication of the people, who made the museum one of the finest railroad museums in the United States.

For more information on the Anthology, including a Table of Contents and Order Form, please click here.

The Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad

For Sale: History of the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad

STRAP RAIL INTO THE WOODS. MAD RIVER AND LAKE ERIE RAILROAD, "OLD LINE," between Sandusky, Ohio and Tiffin, Ohio via Bellevue. 1825-1860. By C.W.Wise. Illustrated.

Available from Mad River and NKP RR Society. 233 York St. Bellevue, Ohio 44811 or call Ruth at 419-483-6235. Price. $20 plus $4 shipping and handling. Also available in the MR & NKP RR Bellevue Museum gift shop. Drop by and save the shipping cost while enjoying the museum.

[ Top ]

The Nickel Plate Road

Museum Displays



The private collection of Ted & Sarah Church of Erie, PA is an interesting addition to our museum. The collection is displayed in former Troop Sleepers 9210, 9211, 9212 which were used by the U.S. Army during the war.

Within these cars you will see wall and floor cases and pictures lining both sides of the cars. In the wall cases are displays of torches, buttons, badges, locks, silverware and many hand tools with historical interest. The floor cases hold china and linens and much more.


...such as uniforms, timetables, lanterns, china, locks and much more continue to grow each year thanks to the many donations from the people interested in preserving the history of the railroading.

Hanging along the walls are numerous lanterns and light fixtures from as early as 1890. A large drawing from 1880 shows the Old Union Station on the lake front in Cleveland while another drawing shows the corporate history of the LS&MS Ry.


  • Steps and open doors mean welcome aboard to folks of all ages who come to this "hands on" Museum to enjoy the day and reminisce at their leisure about railroading.

  • Books, videos, patches, pins, T-shirts, hats, and mugs are just a few of the items available in the gift shop.

  • A picnic shelter is located in the former LS & MS passenger depot area. The area has been made into a park.

  • The former Bellevue Monument Works now houses some of the displays, wooden cars and a video viewing area.

  • There is plenty of room for cars and buses.

  • Restrooms are handicapped accessible and are located in the Monument Station.

  • Safety Videos by Operation Lifesaver®

Be sure to click on the "Equipment" link below to view a list and photos of some of the many rolling stock displays on our grounds.

[ Top ]

Mad River & NKP Railroad Society Board of Directors

Chris Beamer, President
Dwayne Fuehring, Vice President
Denny Brandal, Secretary
Patsy Beamer, Treasurer
Ruth Fuehring, Trustee
Howard Minzer, Trustee
Ernie Blank, Trustee
Jeff Beamer, Trustee

Contact Us

(The following is our Mailing Address only. For directions to the Museum, please click here.)

Mad River & NKP Railroad Society, Inc.
233 York Street
Bellevue, Ohio 44811-1377
(419) 483-2222

[ Top ]

[ Home ] [ About Mad River ] [ Equipment ] [ Links ] [ Membership ] [ Mission Statement ]
[ Museum News ] [ Photo Gallery ] [ Project 757 ] [ Schedules ] [ Special Events ] [ Visitors ]

© 2002-2022  Mad River & NKP Railroad Society.
Do not reproduce without express permission. All material property of their respective owners.
E-mail with questions or problems.