Posts Tagged ‘NKP 765’

NKP 765 to Stay in NE Ohio For a Spell

September 21, 2014

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 continues to sit at the Fitzwater shops of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad as it awaits for a switch to be rebuilt that will enable it go home.

The 2-8-4 Berkshire was scheduled to return to its shop in new Haven, Ind., on Monday, Sept. 15, but a derailment early that morning of a Norfolk Southern manifest freight took out the switch leading to shops of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the 765.

NS and contract construction crews cleared the wreckage and laid temporary panel track to enable traffic to resume on the Fostoria District. But a switch to the FtWRHS complex was not included.

NS continue to repair its track, which is on the original Nickel Plate Road mainline between Chicago and Buffalo, N.Y.

The society had initially said that the 765 would return home this weekend, but it has now said it may be two to three weeks before the 765 can steam back home to Indiana.

Writing on its Facebook page, the society said, “We extend thanks to our friends and partners at Norfolk Southern Corp. and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for their help.

Last Chase of NKP 765 Exceeded Expectations

September 17, 2014
Morning light catches the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it smokes and steams it up while crossing the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

Morning light catches the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it smokes and steams it up while crossing the Cuyahoga River.

When I left home last Sunday to chase the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 as it finished its two-week visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad I had modest plans.

I wanted to be near Deep Lock Quarry to get the southbound morning trip out of Boston Mill. I had wanted to photograph the 765 there on Sunday, Sept. 7, but that didn’t work out. I then set my sights on last Saturday, but that didn’t work out either as I found Indigo Lake more appealing.

So an image near Deep Lock was my top priority when I arrived in the valley. My other plan was to get the 765 from Riverview Road across a field north of Boston Mill. It is goldenrod season and I haven’t shot that many broad perspectives of the 2-8-4 visitor from Indiana.

I like the Deep Lock Quarry location because trains coming out of Peninsula are climbing a grade. The 765 sounds great coming past here.

I had staked out this position last year and been pleased with the results. The first trip out of Boston Mill was at 10:15 a.m. and by then the sun was high up enough to get over the trees and provide illumination through the gaps, one of which is the Cuyahoga River.

I was more than pleased with the results. I would get what turned out to be my favorite image of the day of the 765 in action.

After moving a little closer to the Cuyahoga River bridge, I waited for the 765 to return and ended up getting what might be my second favorite image of the day of the 765 just after it crossed the river.

With the 765 gone, I was left with the question of “now what?” The next trip would be at 12:30 p.m. but it seemed too early to get into position along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill.

The operating plan was to go south, then go north and then go south again out of Boston Mill for the one-hour excursions.

I drove in the direction of Boston Mill not sure where to hang out to kill time. The regular CVSR Scenic train was coming up from Akron and the 765 and its train would need to get out of the way.

I figured the 765 would pull down to Peninsula and the trains would meet there. I could get photos of the meet. But by the time I hatched this plan I had already driven past Peninsula and Boston Mill was just ahead.

On a whim I pulled into the parking area at Boston Mill station and thought I’d get some crowd shots. It was then that I learned that the 765 was about to do a photo runby.

“OK,” I thought. “After the runby they would continue to Peninsula to get out of the way of the Scenic train,” which I could hear on the radio was just about into Peninsula.

But the 765 and its train stopped just after clearing the Boston Mill station. They weren’t going to go to Peninsula, at least not now. But what were they going to do?

I started walking briskly toward my car, still unsure of my next move. I heard a crew member say on the radio, “let’s go to Fitz.” That was where they would get out of the way of the Scenic train.

That was good news for me because it would result in an extra run at steam past Brecksville and the concrete arched Ohio Route 82 bridge. I had yet to photograph the 765 there this year at ground level. Good thing that I had not gone to Peninsula.

Problem was, though, that I had forgotten where I had parked. I was so fixated on the train leaving that I walked past my car.

When the train rolled by I thought I had blown it. Although the 765 had a head start, I managed to get to Brecksville just ahead of it and had just enough time to get out and fire away as the 765 trekked northward. The northbound Scenic wasn’t far behind.

There were a handful of railfan photographers on the scene, including Dave Hanna and Akron Railroad Club member Dave Kachinko.

We talked about where we thought the 12:30 p.m. train would meet the southbound Scenic. It could be Peninsula or it could be Fitzwater. I was hoping it would be the latter.

I predicted that the southbound 765 ferry move would reach Brecksville at 12:15. My prediction was almost dead on, about two minutes before my predicted time.

The photos at Brecksville were bonus coverage.

I had plenty of time to get into position along Riverview for my second planned photo location. I got it, too, although the sun had gone behind a cloud.

Rather than wait for the 765 to come by again I headed back to Brecksville with the intent of photographing the train coming across Chippewa Creek.

I just barely got to Brecksville as the train was approaching the station. I pulled off onto the grassy shoulder alongside the entrance road. I had time to get into place to make an image of the station and the Route 82 bridge along with the 765.

On the other side of the creek, I found fellow ARRC officer Edward Ribinskas, ARRC member Dennis Taksar and Dennis’s dad. I had met the elder Taksar at Deep Lock Quarry that morning.

The southbound CVSR Scenic gave us a chance to try some angles and check how they looked.

The sun was out as the 765 crossed the creek and I was pleased with the results. Maybe one of these was my second favorite image of the day.

I had to be home by late afternoon, but there was time for one more photo location to get the 2:30 p.m. trip passing southward through Peninsula.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to pull off Riverview Road beneath the Interstate 271 bridge. Some other fans had the same idea and I walked down to the area beneath the bridge to join them.

The 765 crew had cut the smoke plume shortly after passing Boston Mill station but right before the locomotive reached our small group it began smoking nicely again. Was that because the crew couldn’t resist putting on a small show for the photographers?

I wanted to get the 765 coming out of the notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula. The lighting favored the west side of the tracks, but I wanted to be on the east side. So I broke a rule or two to get my last images of the day.

It had turned into a much busier day with more photo locations than I had expected to get. I never opened the Trains magazine that I brought along to read to kill time between runs. And that was fine with me.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Headed back north near Deep Lock Quarry. It is one of my favorite places to photograph on the CVSR.

Headed back north near Deep Lock Quarry. It is one of my favorite places to photograph on the CVSR.

There's just enough smoke and steam, along with a bright headlight, to suggest that the 765 is coming toward me rather than going away. The train has just crossed the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

There’s just enough smoke and steam, along with a bright headlight, to suggest that the 765 is coming toward me rather than going away. The train has just crossed the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

I considered this a "bonus" photo runby at Brecksville. The 765 and its empty train are ferrying from Fitzwater to Boston Mill to be ready for the 12:30 p.m. excursion, which would retrace the train's route back to Fitzwater.

I considered this a “bonus” photo runby at Brecksville. The 765 and its empty train are ferrying from Fitzwater to Boston Mill to be ready for the 12:30 p.m. excursion, which would retract the train’s route back to Fitzwater.

It's nearly fall and the goldenrod is growing. The location is along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill. The 765 is backup toward Fitzwater.

It’s nearly fall and the goldenrod is growing. The location is along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill. The 765 is backup toward Fitzwater.

At the last minute I "saw" this shot and was able to get it. I had photographed the 765 at this pond last year, although I was much closer to the water then.

At the last minute I “saw” this shot and was able to get it. I had photographed the 765 at this pond last year, although I was much closer to the water then.

I was surprised that just one lone on-looker was standing on the platform at Brecksville when the middle excursion made the northward trek to Fitzwater shops.

I was surprised that just one lone on-looker was standing on the platform at Brecksville when the middle excursion made the northward trek to Fitzwater shops.

A lot of steam locomotives have cast smoke upon the Route 82 bridge over the decades.. When built in the 1930s, the Baltimore & Ohio below was all steam.

A lot of steam locomotives have cast smoke upon the Route 82 bridge over the decades.. When built in the 1930s, the Baltimore & Ohio below was all steam.

The inscription in the concrete at the north end of the bridge below the tender reads "1948," but much of this bridge was rebuilt earlier this year.

The inscription in the concrete at the north end of the bridge below the tender reads “1948,” but much of this bridge was rebuilt earlier this year.

Putting on a show for the customers during the photo runby at Boston Mill following the conclusion of the middle trip of the day.

Putting on show for the customers during the photo runby at Boston Mill following the conclusion of the middle trip of the day.

Note the smoke rings as the 765 comes through the smoke-filled notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula.

Note the smoke rings as the 765 comes through the smoke-filled notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula.

I broke a rule or two about lighting to get this image, but it had the angle and location that I wanted. I also liked how the steam and smoke blended in with the puffy white clouds.

I broke a rule or two about lighting to get this image, but it had the angle and location that I wanted. I also like how the steam and smoke blend in with the puffy white clouds in the sky.

NKP 765 Wraps up 2-Week Stay on CVSR

September 15, 2014
The Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and its train are headed for the Fitzwater shops on Sunday to clear up for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic train that is following them. The image was made at Brecksville.

The Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and its train are headed for the Fitzwater shops on Sunday to clear up for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic train that is following them. The image was made at Brecksville.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 spent Sunday pulling its last series of excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. There were a trio of one-hour trips, each departing from the Boston Mill station.

At the conclusion of each trip, the 765 made one photo runby at Boston Mill.

The first and last trips of the day went south through Peninsula and Indigo Lake. The middle trip went to the Fitzwater shops where it got out of the way of the regularly scheduled CVSR Scenic train.

The NKP 765 and its train also ran light to and from Fitzwater between the morning and early afternoon trips. That allowed for some “bonus” coverage.

Shown here is the northbound ferry move to Fitzwater as it passes through Brecksville with the Ohio Route 82 bridge in the background.

The 765 was to return to its home in New Haven, Ind., today via the Wheeling & Lake Erie, and the Norfolk Southern railroads. Reportedly, the ferry move was to depart Akron on Monday morning.

I will be posting later this week more of my images of the 765 from my Sunday chasing.

Article and Photograph by  Craig Sanders

Steam and Smoke at Indigo Lake

September 14, 2014
Steam trails behind the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it heads north during the afternoon excursion from Akron to Boston Mill. It is shown passing Indigo Lake

Steam trails behind the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it heads north during the afternoon excursion from Akron to Boston Mill. It is shown passing Indigo Lake

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was back in action on Saturday pulling a pair of excursions that began at Akron Northside station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Unlike the previous Sunday, the weather for Saturday’s trips was not nearly as desirable with mostly overcast skies. There were peaks of sunshine for the afternoon trip, but the sun never came out when I needed it to at Indigo Lake where I set up shop to capture the steam excursion in both directions.

The trips went north out of Akron to Boston Mill where the 765 executed a pair of photo runbys for the passengers. Then it was back to Akron.

The 765 will be pulling its final excursions today, a trio of one-hour trips that begin at Boston Mill. Trips will depart at 10:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $38 and will be available trackside.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A small band of admirers greets the 765 as it passed northward at Indigo Lake on Saturday.

A small band of admirers greets the 765 as it passed northward at Indigo Lake on Saturday.

Looking good on the southbound return to Akron as it passes Indigo Lake. Two minutes later the sun came out.

Looking good on the southbound return to Akron as it passes Indigo Lake. Two minutes later the sun came out.

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FA No. 6771 was on the point for the northbound trips with the NKP 765. LTEX 1420, which had pulled the steam excursions northbound last Sunday was relegated to service on the CVSR Scenic trains.

FA No. 6771 was on the point for the northbound trips with the NKP 765. LTEX 1420, which had pulled the steam excursions northbound last Sunday was relegated to service on the CVSR Scenic trains.

Lounge car Paul Revere, dressed up in Pennsylvania Railroad markings, made an appearance on Saturday. The car came with the 765 on its ferry move to the CVSR but was not used on last weekend's excursions.

Lounge car Paul Revere, dressed up in Pennsylvania Railroad markings, made an appearance on Saturday. The car came with the 765 on its ferry move to the CVSR but was not used on last weekend’s excursions.

 

Making Sure That I Was All Over the 765

September 11, 2014
Why, of course, I photograph steam locomotives for the steam and smoke that they produce. Nickel Plate Road 765 puts on a show just north of Jaite last Sunday.

Why, of course, I photograph steam locomotives for the steam and smoke that they produce. Nickel Plate Road 765 puts on a show just north of Jaite last Sunday.

Steam in the Valley has been a September mainstay of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for five of the past eight years. The latest tradition began in 2007 with Ohio Central No. 1293 and in four of the past five years Nickel Plate Road No. 765 has been the star.

Of course if you go back further in time, steam was a summer and fall regular in the early days of the CVSR when Grand Trunk Western No. 4070 was pulling excursions.

I wasn’t around during the 4070 era and I didn’t go down to the valley for the first years of the present day steam in the valley program when the 1293 was on hand. Sure, I rode the Akron Railroad Club trips behind the 1293 in 2007 and 2008, but I only made a few photographs. How I regret that now.

It wasn’t until the first visit of the 765, which occurred in 2010, that I began getting images of steam trains in action on the CVSR and not just during the photo runbys at Boston Mill or Indigo Lake.

When the 765 came back in 2011, I was all over it and I’ve been chasing steam up and down the valley ever since.

Steam programs have a way of going away all too quickly. Remember the Chessie Steam Specials? Remember those excursions over the former Erie Lackawanna in the early Conrail days? Remember the Norfolk Southern steam program when the Norfolk & Western 611 and 1218 were regular visitors to Ohio? Remember the Ohio Central steam excursions?

During the halcyon days of steam excursions through the early 1990s it must have seemed like they would always be there. But they came and left.

Although mainline steam excursions have made a comeback on Norfolk Southern, steam trips remain few and far between.

I moved to Ohio in the waning days of that era. I got out a couple times to ride some trips, but I seldom chased and photographed them. I wish now that I had been more active than I was because in hindsight there seemed to be so much opportunity.

So whenever a steam locomotive makes an appearance on the CVSR, I make it a point to photograph it. I may not go out for every trip and in fact I skipped last Saturday’s trips because of the rainy and overcast weather.

But I spent all day Sunday following the 765 and here are some of those images. It can be a challenge coming up with new locations and angles on the CVSR. But I was pleased with what I was able to create.

I also came across a few Akron Railroad Club members and other railfan friends alongside the tracks. And it is always good to see people of all ages taking a moment to enjoy something they’ve rarely or never seen before.

Article and Photographs  by Craig Sanders

Cruisin' into Jaite where a large crowd of fans was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 765.

Cruisin’ into Jaite where a large crowd of fans was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 765.

I see you, you see me.

I see you, you see me.

The morning trip only made it as far south as milepost 50 just north of Everett Road. Steam shrouds the 765 as it begins the return trip to Brecksville.

The morning trip only made it as far south as milepost 50 just north of Everett Road. Steam shrouds the 765 as it begins the return trip to Brecksville.

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The excursion train had a mix of passenger cars including two former Nickel Plate Road heavyweights that had open windows.

The excursion train had a mix of passenger cars including two former Nickel Plate Road heavyweights that had open windows.

The obligatory image showing the station at Jaite. There was a crowd here but somehow I managed to create this image without any of them getting into the frame. The train is returning to Brecksville.

The obligatory image showing the station at Jaite. There was a crowd here but somehow I managed to create this image without any of them getting into the frame. The train is returning to Brecksville.

This photo was made north of Boston Mill at the base of the embankment. I had to walk through a wetlands to get here and I was hoping that the train did derail. I had never photographed here before.

This photo was made north of Boston Mill at the base of the embankment. I had to walk through a wetlands to get here and I was hoping that the train did not derail. I had never photographed here before.

The steam train is coming and traffic on Riverview Road is slowing to watch. Some vehicle were chasing the southbound train.

The steam train is coming and traffic on Riverview Road is slowing to watch. Some vehicle were chasing the southbound train.

A railfan greets the 765 as it cruises along Riverview Road south of Peninsula. The image was made of the middle of three trips out of Brecksville last Sunday.

A railfan greets the 765 as it cruises along Riverview Road south of Peninsula. The image was made of the middle of three trips out of Brecksville last Sunday.

The 765 eases into Peninsula where it will wait for the CVSR Scenic train to pass by.

The 765 eases into Peninsula where it will wait for the CVSR Scenic train to pass by.

A Lima and an Alco meet nose to nose in Peninsula. The CVSR Scenic train on the right that is bound for Akron went through the seldom used siding to get by the steam train.

A Lima and an Alco meet nose to nose in Peninsula. The CVSR Scenic train on the right that is bound for Akron went through the seldom used siding to get by the steam train.

 

Everyone in Peninsula stopped to watch the 765 and its train head southbound behind the CVSR Scenic train.

Everyone in Peninsula stopped to watch the 765 and its train head southbound behind the CVSR Scenic train.

The late day 765 crew takes a last look at Peninsula. Note the radio handset draped over the engineer's right shoulder.

The late day 765 crew takes a last look at Peninsula. Note the radio handset draped over the engineer’s right shoulder.

Late sunlight bathes the side of the 765 as it heads north out of Peninsula. By now, only the railfan photographers were still trackside.

Late sunlight bathes the side of the 765 as it heads north out of Peninsula. By now, only the railfan photographers were still trackside.

As the 765 heads back to Brecksville for the final time on Sunday, a cloud of smoke trails behind at Peninsula.

As the 765 heads back to Brecksville for the final time on Sunday, a cloud of smoke trails behind at Peninsula.

Missed a Few, But 765 Chase Ended Well

September 7, 2014
Nickel Plate Road No. 765 steams into Wellington during its Thursday ferry move to Akron from its home base in New Haven, Ind.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 steams into Wellington during its Thursday ferry move to Akron from its home base in New Haven, Ind.

I thought I would share some of my photos from Thursday’s Nickel Plate Road No. 765 ferry move to Akron.  Even though I missed some spots I still ended up with a good chase, overall.

I arrived in Bellevue to find the 765 sitting on the Wheeling & Lake Erie track waiting on a crew to take the steamer to Akron.

Upon leaving town, I caught it at several grade crossings taking both still photos and video. All was proceeding well.

As in years past what was posted for this year’s schedule was a water and service stop at Monroeville. This typically takes 60-90 minutes so I felt I had plenty of time to stop at a local gas station.

Well, the servicing was done at Bellevue and the water stop at Monroeville was canceled. I ended up missing the bridge shot there and had to play catch up with the speeding steamer.

I was pulling down the road for the Clarksville grain elevator just as the 765 flew across the crossing.

My next stop would be Wellington where CSX sent a train through before letting the 765 cross.  I barely beat the 765 to Spencer where I got an interesting effect. With the sun angle, a perfect shadow was cast on the old buildings as the train passed.

I then headed to River Styx Road trestle east of Medina for the bridge shot there. The first year of this trip what appeared to be a slam dunk photo in sweet light was dashed by the Wheeling, which held 765 by the yard for a train coming from Akron. It was after dark before the 765 came across the bridge that day.

The next year was overcast weather and last year I missed this spot entirely.  Finally, this year I had success although the tall bridge is almost entirely blocked by trees which are nearly as tall as the bridge.

Still, I was pleased with the result.  I chased to the big bridge off Howard Street in Akron but the sun had just set.  Hope you enjoy these photos.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Crossing the CSX Greenwich Subdivision in Wellington.

Crossing the CSX Greenwich Subdivision in Wellington.

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The light was just right in Spencer.

The light was just right in Spencer.

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Some trees on the trestle over River Styx Road east of Medina are about as high as the bridge.

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Talking over things during the maintenance stop in Bellevue.

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NKP 765 Was Looking Good Heading Our Way

September 6, 2014

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Here are the five images that I made on Thursday of Nickel Plate Road 765s eastbound ferry trip. Thankfully, the weather, locations, and most of all, NKP 765 combined for a great day of railfanning.

The first three images were taken at County Road 292 west of Bellevue as NKP 765 steamed east on Norfolk Southern tracks. Image four was taken in Monroeville with 765 crossing the W&LE bridge over the West Branch of the Huron River.

Image five was taken in Wellington just before 765 crossed the CSX diamond. Some people might complain because it is only three locations, but I remember 1962 when I was in Canton at the Luntz scrapyard where NKP 736 was being dismantled and I thought I’d never again see a mainline steam locomotive operate. What a blessing NKP 765 is.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

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NKP 765 Steams Way Onto the CVSR

September 5, 2014

Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765 rolled into Akron Thursday night en route to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad where it will pull a series of excursions over the next two weekends.

A field report said the 765 was at Hazel Street at 8:30 p.m. This is where the 2-8-4 Berkshire and its train switched from the Wheeling & Lake Erie to tracks used by the CVSR.

The 765 ferry move, which had departed New Haven, Ind., at about 9:30 a.m., included a Norfolk Southern gondola, tool car, and a former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger car that still carries PRR markings.

Akron Railroad Club member Paul Woodring said the ex-PRR car is a former Amtrak Heritage fleet lounge car named Paul Revere. It is a sister to CVSR car Cuyahoga Inn.

Paul watched the train pass West Market Street at 7:22 p.m. Another online posting said it went through Copley at 7:15 p.m.

The ferry move took much of Thursday and began on NS with the 765 following NS 218 out of Fort Wayne. The 765 went into the siding at Payne, Ohio, around 11:30 a.m. to meet three westbounds.

The steamer then passed through Fostoria at 2:25 p.m. before reaching Bellevue at around 3:40 p.m., according to online reports.

Once on W&LE tracks, the 765 stopped in Monroeville at about 4:45 p.m. for a service stop.

Other reported times in the region included Spencer at 5:54 p.m. and Medina at 6:51 p.m.

The 765 will be reposing at the CVSR’s Fitzwater Maintenance shop today, but will be in action on Saturday and Sunday pulling trips that will originate at the CVSR Brecksville station.

Anticipation of a Trip 20 Years in the Making

July 15, 2014

765Detroit01

765Detroit02

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I arrived at the Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., just before 7 a.m. on Sunday. I had a ticket to ride the Detroit Arrow, an excursion train to Fort Wayne, Ind., that would be pulled by Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

It would be the second time I’d seen the big Berkshire in a week, having photographed it the Sunday before as it pulled a Norfolk Southern employee appreciation special from Detroit to Toledo.

There was no sign of a train on the nearby tracks, which once belonged to the Wabash. I was here to get some new mileage, enjoy a trip and make up for a failure that occurred 20 years ago this month.

In 1994, the Blue Water Michigan chapter of the National Railway Historical Society sponsored a trip from Detroit to Fort Wayne behind Norfolk & Western No. 611. By the time I sent them a check to order a ticket the trip was sold out.

I was disappointed, but vowed to order my ticket earlier next year. But next year never came. NS scrapped the steam program later in 1994 and sent the 611 off to pasture in a museum in Roanoke.

The years passed and I stuffed the trip that never was into a mental file drawer.

When the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society announced plans earlier this year to operate two Detroit-Fort Wayne trips, I was immediately interested.

Much has changed since then, but I still wanted the opportunity to ride the rails once traveled by the Wabash Cannon Ball. Now you order tickets on line and that is what I did.

It was nearly 7:30 when smoke and steam in the distance heralded the imminent arrival of the 765 and its train. The 765 put on a bit of show as it weaved its way out of Oakwood Yard and through a series of crossovers. It would be my only opportunity to get head-on shots of the locomotive in action.

The trip that had been 20 years in the making was about to begin. I was not disappointed this time.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Steamy Sunday

July 7, 2014

 

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It may have been midday in July, but the weather was quite pleasant. With mostly sunny skies, low humidity and warm temperatures, it was a good day to go chase a steam locomotive.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was pulling an employee appreciation special from Detroit to Toledo and return. The big Berkshire ran on Saturday and Sunday. Next week, it will pull public excursions between Detroit and Fort Wayne, Ind.

My friend Adam and I made our way up to Michigan on Sunday to catch the 765 coming south. We don’t know the territory that well so we settled on setting up at Vienna Road, a few miles south of Monroe.  The NS tracks here run parallel to a Canadian National Line that is the former Detroit Toledo Shore Line.

The NS tracks are former New York Central. At one time, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the Michigan Central each had their own routes between Toledo and Detroit. Those were subsequently “merged” in a paired track arrangement after the NYC gained control of both railroads.

The 765 was slated to leave at noon and as best we could tell it left on time or close to it. It came past our location on Track No. 2 at 1:22 p.m. It’s funny how you drive more than two hours, wait about two hours and then the train comes along for what seems about two seconds. That’s railfanning.

We didn’t wait around until the return trip. We had heard that the NS heritage unit No. 8114 was leading a 20W eastward and we were off in pursuit of that.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

 

 


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