They Make the NKP 765 Go

Nickel Plate Road 765 engineer Gary Bensmen talks with a fellow crew member from the cab window. A report on Trainordres.com said that Bensmen has been with the Fort Wayne group since the 1970s and is one of the most experienced steam locomotive engineers in the country.

Nickel Plate Road 765 engineer Gary Bensmen talks with a fellow crew member from the cab window. A report on Trainordres.com said that Bensmen has been with the Fort Wayne group since the 1970s and is one of the most experienced steam locomotive engineers in the country.

Most photographs of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 feature the locomotive. I make plenty of those images, too, because a steam locomotive in action can offer a dramatic scene.

Yet I also make it a point when I can to get images of the crew working on the locomotive or the train because those add a human interest touch.

The photographs shown in this sequence were all made in Ashtabula during a ferry move of the 765 in late July from Cleveland to Youngstown.

The 765 and its train had gone into a siding to take on a new Norfolk Southern operating crew and to allow westbound train No. 145 to pass by.

Once the latter was out of the way, the 765 then moved onto the Youngstown Line.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS employees and 765 crew members conduct a job briefing before the new pilot crew gets on the locomotive.

NS employees and 765 crew members conduct a job briefing before the new pilot crew gets on the locomotive.

In a ritual as old as railroading itself, the crew walks toward the locomotive as it goes to work. But chances are this is the first time the members of this NS pilot crew has ever gone to work aboard a steam locomotive.

In a ritual as old as railroading itself, the crew walks toward the locomotive as it goes to work. But chances are this is the first time the members of this NS pilot crew has ever gone to work aboard a steam locomotive.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society volunteer Rachel Weibel looks out the door of the tool car at the approaching NS train 145, which had the Virginian heritage locomotive on the lead.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society volunteer Rachel Weibel looks out the door of the tool car at the approaching NS train 145, which had the Virginian heritage locomotive on the lead.

The bright sunlight washed out the color in the safety vest of this Norfolk Southern supervisor, but the reflection on the tender of the 765 captures the colors well.

The bright sunlight washed out the color in the safety vest of this Norfolk Southern supervisor, but the reflection on the tender of the 765 captures the colors well.

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