Nickel Plate Trail FAQs

What is the Nickel Plate Trail?|
The Nickel Plate Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform an unused stretch of the old Nickel Plate Railroad into a new kind of public space as a linear park.

When will the trail be completed?
The Master Plan was completed at the end of March 2019. Construction of the Fishers portion of the trail began in the Spring of 2020 and will be constructed in phases.

• Phase 1: 106th Street to 131st Street, not including the downtown area from South Street to North Street, was completed in late 2020.    Paving on 131st Street to 146th Street is currently underway and is estimated to be completed by late October 2021.

• Phase 2: The downtown portion of the NPT including the pedestrian tunnel at 116th Street is estimated to be complete in Spring 2022.

• Future Phases: The portion of the trail from 96th to 106th Street (including a crossing at 96th Street) will be completed as future funding sources are identified.

I live along the trail and am concerned about privacy. What can the City do to help?
For those who live in a single-family home on property directly adjacent to the trail (i.e. your property line touches the trail right of way), the City is offering a grant program that may go toward installing screening, privacy or buffering through landscaping or fencing on the resident’s private property, up to $2,000 per private property. Additionally, property owners may opt-in to a direct trail connection via their property. Property owners can apply for the grant program and to establish a trail connection here.

Will having a great, new public amenity like this impact property values?
Studies have shown that transformational projects like this can increase property values.

I’m a property owner along the trail and I’d like to potentially connect to the trail from my property. What’s the process for this?
The City has coordinated with Duke Energy, which has an easement over the trail area, to develop a permitting process that allows adjacent properties to connect directly to the trail. The trail connection application is now open for properties along the paved portions of the trail from 106th Street to 131st Street. For properties adjacent to unpaved portions of the trail, a trail connection will be available once paving occurs.

Trail connections are $200 and include a crushed stone trail or stairs from the property line to the trail, a drainage culvert (if needed), and complimentary labor from the Fishers Department of Public Works. Trail connections are not guaranteed and are subject to an onsite review to ensure they can be done safely and sustainably. Residents are not permitted to establish their own trail connections outside of this permitting process.

Learn more here.

I have heard proposals for co-locating the existing track with a new trail. Is this feasible? 
The City of Fishers commissioned a study of the corridor to assess the feasibility of this option. The study can be found here. In summary, this option is feasible with the acquisition of a portion of or complete elimination of over 100 properties and buildings along the trail. Even without the cost associated with building the trail, this option would add an additional $20.5 million in property impacts, pedestrian bridges, trail embankments, retaining walls, and the required 6’ security fencing between the trail and the track.

What ever happened to the Nickel Plate Express?
It now operates out of Noblesville and runs year-round. You can find more about the excursion train here.

Will the existing trees along the trail be removed?
The City is planning to preserve as many existing trees as possible along the trail. For safety reasons, Public Works will be removing dead trees.