Thursday, February 13, 2020

New York Central Number 6451

Beech Grove, IN (February 13, 2020) —Pictured is New York Central Number 6451 in 1930 along with the crew of Locomotive Erecting Shop of the Beech Grove Shops as the locomotive is about to enter service.


The large crew needed to build such an enormous and complicated steam powered machine consisted of metal fabricators, welders, pipe fitters, mechanics and several other skilled tradesmen.

The facility served as the company’s major repair shop for steam locomotives and passenger and freight cars, and also contained an extensive freight rail yard. Surrounding this important building were the smaller coach, paint, boiler, and wheel shops.


Acquired by the New York Central Railway (NYC) in 1906, the Big Four operated as an independent entity until it was finally subsumed by its owner in 1922.

The shops remained in the hands of the NYC until it merged with the rival Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968 to form Penn Central, whose tenure was short-lived as it declared bankruptcy in 1970.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Big Four Association Band

Beech Grove, IN (December 10, 2019) — The Big Four Athletic Association Band is long-gone, along with the Beech Grove baseball stadium, which was located between First and Fifth Avenues in the heart of town.

The Big Four Association Band, seen here on May 8th, 1926

The community was basically left without a musical performance unit from the time that the Big Four Band folded until the high school band was formed in the 1950's.

The Big Four Association Band performing at the Beech Grove Baseball Stadium

Beech Grove relied on the railroad band to play at celebrations since as both a town and a city, never had an organized community band. The Big Four Association Band played throughout Indiana at various parades and events.

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Spectacular drone footage of Beech Grove Shops

Beech Grove, IN (December 8, 2019) — This spectacular drone footage catches some of the best shots of Amtrak's primary repair facility located at the former Big Four shops in Beech Grove Indiana. This was the scene on July 8, 2016 that included a look at Amtrak #66 in Heritage paint.


Beech Grove is Amtrak's primary maintenance facility. The shops were originally constructed in 1904-1908 by the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (the "Big Four"), servicing a network stretching across the Midwest into Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.


The facility was used as the company's repair shop for steam locomotives, passenger, and freight cars.

The facility passed to the New York Central Railroad in 1922, on its formal acquisition of the Big Four, and then on to Penn Central Transportation in 1968 when the Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Penn Central declared bankruptcy in 1970. Amtrak purchased the facility from the bankrupt Penn Central in 1975.


Although the shops were acquired by the New York Central Railway (NYC) in 1906, the Big Four worked as an independent business until it was formally merged with its owner in 1922.

Drone video was shot with a DJI Phantom 3. For more amazing train videos, check out Brian Sellers YouTube channel HERE.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Beech Grove man charged in fatal gunfight

Beech Grove, IN (December 6, 2019) — A man is facing four charges, including murder, in connection with a bar gunfight that killed another man. Derek Oechsle, 32, of Beech Grove also was charged Thursday with attempted murder, battery and criminal recklessness in connection with the fatal shooting of Christopher Smith, 41, of Indianapolis on November 29 at Jake's Pub.


Witnesses told police Oechsle came into the bar and sat down across from a group celebrating Smith's bachelor party, The Indianapolis Star reported, citing a probable cause affidavit.

One member of the group who told police Oechsle stared at him and asked Oechsle whether he thought he was pretty. Oechsle got up, pulled out a gun and hit the man in the head with it, the affidavit said.


Smith was trying to separate the two when Oechsle allegedly fired and struck Smith several times, the affidavit said. Smith suffered one shot to the head and one shot that hit multiple organs.

Another witness pulled out his own gun and shot Oechsle, who then ran outside and fell, the affidavit said. Smith and Oechsle were taken to a hospital, where Smith was pronounced dead.

Oechsle was booked into the Marion County Jail. His attorney said he had no comment on the case at this time.

SOURCE: Associated Press
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Beech Grove man sentenced for armed robbery

Beech Grove, IN (December 6, 2019) — A Beech Grove man will spend about 22 years in prison after he robbed a man of marijuana and cash and hit a woman with a gun at a Greenwood apartment.

Brandon Saloane, 27, was convicted in a jury trial in October of two Level 3 felonies of armed robbery and robbery, a Level 4 felony of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and a Level 6 felony of battery with moderate bodily injury. The charges stem from a drug deal gone wrong on July 4.


Circuit Court Judge Andrew Roesener sentenced Saloane to 13 years each for the robbery charges and nine years for the unlawful possession of a firearm charge. Roesener vacated the Level 6 felony. The 13 years for the robbery charges will be served concurrently.

He was also sentenced to 45 days in jail for a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. He was given time served in that incident. Saloane has 154 days of jail credit.

In July, Saloane arrived and paid the resident of a Greenwood apartment cash, and was given marijuana in return. Saloane used the restroom, then shoved a gun into the resident’s side and attempted to rob him.

Related | Trial begins for Beech Grove man facing felonies

Related | Beech Grove man arrested on felony charges


A woman who had been sleeping at the apartment told the jury she got up and Saloane smacked her in the face with a gun. A bullet was fired, but it is unclear if it grazed the woman. The woman received facial stitches for her injury, according to court documents.

Saloane represented himself during the jury trial and sentencing and made a statement before his hearing. He told the judge he believed the jury was biased against him on the serious violent offender charge. Roesener told Saloane that his claim would fall under an appeal, which was not being considered in the Thursday sentencing hearing.

Saloane asked for leniency and said that his life was perfect leading up to the crime. He asked for mercy in his sentencing, and said his sentence would be better served on work release and home detention. He also said he was not remorseful and that he did not know he was committing a crime.

"I can’t have remorse for a drug deal when he shorted me on a drug I tried to buy," Saloane said.

A relative of Saloane testified on his behalf and said Saloane had prior trauma and was a good student while he was in school, but he lacked parental guidance. The victims of the crime declined to testify in the hearing.

Deputy Prosecutor Daylon Welliver requested a 24-year sentence and argued Saloane committed violent crimes without regard to the public’s safety, and continued to blame others for the crimes.

"(Saloane) blames other people, which the jury rejected," Welliver said. "He continues to not accept responsibility for committing a very dangerous crime that endangered the public."

Saloane has an extensive criminal history, including juvenile and violent crimes and was not remorseful, which was considered in his sentencing. A factor that could have lessened the sentence was argued, but Roesener gave it little weight, the judge said.

SOURCE: Daily Journal
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