LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - All is quiet on Purdue's campus.
"I guess I haven't heard the horn blowing," said Purdue student Jared Roskamp.
Purdue's official mascot, the Boilermaker Special, hasn't been seen on campus since basketball season.
"I haven't really heard the hoot, hoot," said Purdue student Chad Brabham. "I've been kind of missing it."
Fans have no need to worry. The spirit of Purdue isn't too far away. It's over the bridge in Lafayette at Wabash National getting some work done.
"Over 200,000 miles are on it," explained Purdue Reamer Club President Patrick Hart. "We thought it was time to look into a new engine, transmission and chassis."
The Reamer Club takes care of and drives the Boilermaker Special.
The current Purdue train was built at Wabash National in 1993.
"It's been about 17 years since we've done any major changes," said Boilermaker Special driver Cory Brewer.
Wabash National Senior Design Engineer Dan Gilbert helped create the train in 1993.
"We've had to modify the body to fit those changes. It's been a challenge," he said.
The Boilermaker Special may be having some major work done, but that doesn't mean fans will see much of a difference.
"To most people, it will look the same. It's pretty much the same length, same width, same height," Gilbert said.
"The only thing you'll be able to notice in the change is a little bit of a paint design," Brewer said. "We're really trying to keep it the same. There's been that huge sort of uproar of the Purdue Pete. We're not trying to do any of that."
The made over Boilermaker Special has a few new bells and whistles.
"Mounted another bell that (fans) haven't heard before," Gilbert said.
The Purdue Reamer Club estimates the renovations will cost at least $100,000, but the club will only pay between $1,000 to $5,000. The manpower and most of the parts have been donated by various corporations, including Wabash National.
"I am a Purdue fan, otherwise we probably wouldn't be doing this," Gilbert said.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 18 and WLFI.com this summer. We'll let you know when the Boilermaker Special will be back on campus, giving fans rides.
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