Indiana Weekends Two Decades Apart

An eastbound empty hopper train passes the North Findlay mast. The signals were installed many years ago by the Nickel Plate Road.

When I opened my email box early Thursday morning I was greeted with back-to-back messages from Akron Railroad Club members Roger Durfee and Todd Dillon with photographs from their respective trips to Indiana.

Roger had spent last weekend at an open house of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The group is better known as the owners of Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765.

He had planned his trip to make it a NKP sojourn by following the former NKP mainline from Bellevue to New Haven, Ind., where the 765 is based.

Todd, on the other hand, dipped into his archives to recall a 1999 fall weekend that he spent in Indiana — a state in which he once lived — and came upon an obscure shortline then known as the Fulton County Railroad. It operated between Rochester and Argos, where it connected with the former NKP mainline now owned by Norfolk Southern.

This is a former Lake Erie & Western line that extended between Indianapolis and Michigan City, Ind. The LE&W later was absorbed by the Nickel Plate. Portions of this Michigan City-Indianapolis route have been abandoned, but much of it still exists. Indeed, the southern end of the route is used by another Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive, the 587, which is based at the Indiana Transportation Museuum in Noblesville.

To view a gallery of photographs from Roger’s trip, click on the link below.

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/trip-reports/taking-the-nickel-plate-to-a-765-date/

To read Todd’s article and view a galley of photographs of his chase of the Fulton County Railroad’s Alco locomotive, click on the link below.

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/trackside-tales/fall-weekend-in-indiana-in-1999/

In the meantime, here is a sample of the photographs taken by Roger and Todd.

Article by Craig Sanders

Three volunteers hold their coal shovels high after a hard day of work.

The view out of the 765 fireman’s window looking down the boiler as a full moon rises in the east.

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