Posts Tagged ‘Fort Wayne Indiana’

Fort Wayne Rail Park Likely to Open in August

May 7, 2022

A railroad theme park in Fort Wayne is expected to open in August.

Headwaters Junction is expected to eventually be the home of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, which is owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

The park will be located on the north side of the St. Marys River across from Promenade Park.

One rail car has been delivered to the site, which is still under development, with a second car expected to arrive next week.

Don Steininger, chairman of the Headwaters Junction Committee, said those two cars will be the first phase of the development.

 “This is the starting point of what headwaters junction can be. The question is what is phase two going to be? We don’t know yet. We know we’re working on it. We know there will be one,” Steininger said.

Ohio, Indiana Terminals Added to NS Program

April 15, 2022

Norfolk Southern has expanded its conductor trainee incentive program to include terminals in Bellevue; Elkhart, Indiana; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Class 1 railroad is offering eligible conductor trainees a starting bonus of $5,000. This increases to 12 the number of terminals at which NS is offering the incentives.

Other terminals already in the bonus program include Cincinnati; Harrisburg and Conway, Pennsylvania; Louisville, Kentucky; and Buffalo, New York.

The terminals are considered “priority” locations at which NS has been experiencing operating crew shortages.

Newly-hired conductors undergo 10 to 13 weeks of training with the first two weeks held at the company’s training center in McDonough, Georgia. The remaining training takes place at the terminal to which the conductor has been assigned.

NS said conductors who finish the training program are guaranteed a minimum yearly income of $52,000 with guaranteed minimum earnings increasing over a four-year period to approximately $63,500.

In a news release, NS officials said most conductors earn far above the guaranteed minimum due to “additional work opportunities.”

Headwaters Jct. Work Expected to Begin Later This Year

May 21, 2021

Work is expected to get underway this year to build the Headwaters Junction museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that is expected to become the new home of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

A former NKP depot is expected to be placed in the park, which will be situated in downtown Fort Wayne.

The depot and a passenger car initially will form the core of an eventual railroad-themed museum and event complex. 

“After many years of developing the overall vision for Headwaters Junction and winning meaningful public support along the way, we’re excited to finally be in a position to show very visible progress. This Phase I development will compliment Promenade Park and enhance the riverfront experience,” said Executive Director Kelly Lynch.

Built in 1879, the depot once stood in Craigville, Indiana, and was moved to New Haven, Indiana, in the 1970s.

Headwaters Junction acquired it in 2018 and plans to restore it with funding from the Shields Family Trust.

The passenger car at Headwaters Junction will be a former U.S. Army car built in 1953 and used for a time by Amtrak.

The car was donated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which is a partner in the Headwaters Junction project. Renovation of the car is being funded by Don and Kathy Steininger.

Development of the first phase of Headwaters Junction is being expected to be completed in 2022.

Funding is being provided by a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne’s Riverfront Fund and $15,000 from the Journal Gazette Foundation.

Proposed Ft. Wayne Rail Park Needs New Location

July 15, 2020

A proposed railroad museum and park in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, is still being discussed but it apparently will have a different location than originally planned.

The park, known as Headwaters Junction, is being supported by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

The restored steam locomotive is expected to be a centerpiece of the park.

Headwaters Junction had planned to located on property owned by Norfolk Southern on the north side of the St. Mary’s River.

Instead, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will acquire that 7.5-acre parcel for $520,000 to further is Riverfront Fort Wayne project.

The latter involves public spaces and private development. Headwaters Junction agreed to transfer to the Commission its purchase agreement while locating at a different site in downtown Fort Wayne.

The proposed new site for the railroad park has not been divulged but it is unlikely to be along the riverfront.

The Commission plans to reimburse Headwaters Junction $127,000 for an earnest payment and due diligence that is preformed regarding the purchase of the land.

Commission Director Nancy Townsend said during a recent meeting of the group,“Headwaters Junction still has plans and will still occur.”

“There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re not doing it alone,” Headwaters Junction Executive Director Kelly Lynch said.

In a statement, Headwaters Junction said it will continue to work with the city.

The statement also said the park is still expected to include a recreated rail yard, roundhouse and tourist railroad.

Fort Wayne Distillery Releasing NKP 765 Rye Whiskey

December 3, 2019

The Three Rivers Distilling Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will host a party on Wednesday (Dec 4) to celebrate the release of its Engine 765 Rye Whiskey.

The release party proceeds will benefit the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, the owner of Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765.

Engine 765 Rye Whiskey is made from rye grain and smoked wheat grain and features subtle smokey notes.

The release party will be held between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at 224 E. Wallace St. in Fort Wayne. All participants must be age 21 or older.

The release party will provide the opportunity to buy bottles of Engine 765 Rye Whiskey and have for sale flight specials featuring $5 Prohibition Era cocktails.

Members of the Ft.WRHS will provide a brief presentation on the importance of trains and a tie into bootlegging during Prohibition.

Group Submits Bid for Rail Tourism Project

September 1, 2018

An artist’s rendering of Headwaters Junction.

A Minnesota real estate company is making a bid to develop the Headwaters Junction rail theme venue in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which will become the permanent home of Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765

Continental Property Group submitted the only proposal that satisfied the city’s vision of the project.

The city will decide by late this year whether to accept the proposal, which calls for developing Headwaters Junction on the site of a former New York Central now owned by the city.

Kelly Lynch, the executive director of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, said Headwaters Junction will be a rail tourism site featuring a roundhouse, interpretative displays, meeting space, and mixed use space for restaurants and retail businesses.

Continental also has proposed other mixed-used development in downtown Fort Wayne.

FtWRHS has raised $1 million in donations and conducted a feasibility that said Headwaters Junction could generate as much as $60 million in economic impact on a $15 million to $20 million investment.

NKP 765 is currently housed in a pole barn in nearby New Haven, Indiana.

Overseeing the Headwaters Junction project is a board of directors whose members include local leaders and rail preservationists.

Chicago-Columbus Study to be Completed This Year

May 31, 2017

A study of passenger rail service between Chicago and Columbus is expected to be completed by late this year.

HNTB Corporation is analyzing operating plans and preliminary costs for the proposed service, a review that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act to begin the project.

Completion of the analysis would enable the project to receive federal funds for design and construction.

HNTB will recommend a route, operating speeds, train frequency and station sites, as well as estimated ridership and revenue. The $350,000 study is being paid for by cities and businesses along the corridor, including Fort Wayne, Indiana, which lost Amtrak service in late 1990.

The route would initially have a top speed of 75 mph with an eventual goal 110 mph travel.

“We are making great progress in our efforts to return passenger rail to Fort Wayne and northern Indiana and northwest Ohio,” said Geoff Paddock, a member of  the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association. “This passenger-rail line will boost economic development efforts by connecting people and businesses throughout the region and it will enhance the quality of life for area residents.”

The group said in December 2016 that the Federal Railroad Administration would conduct the alternatives analysis and solicit public input on the project. HNTB was the contractor hired to complete that study.

FtWRHS Gets Grant for Headwaters Jct. Project

March 28, 2016

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society announced recently that the Clarence L. and Edith B. Schust Foundation has donated $35,000 toward development of the planned Headwaters Junction project.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical SocietyThe money from the Schust Foundation will be used for development, research and study work for the proposed riverfront attraction in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, which will feature Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765.

Plans are for Headwaters Junction to have a railroad yard and to offer tourist train programs and events on a recreated rail line. Thus far the society has raised $76,000 for the project.

Stone Consulting has been hired to make an initial feasibility and economic impact study for Headwaters Junction.

That report is expected to be finished n April and to be followed by additional engineering, design and property acquisition work.

Fort Wayne Rail Festival Set for Feb. 13-14

February 11, 2016

Fort Wayne regional railroads in the mid 20th century will be the focus of the annual railroad festival of the Three Rivers Railroad Heritage Council.

PRRThe festival will be held on Feb. 13 and 14 at the former Pennsylvania Railroad station in Fort Wayne, located at 221 Baker Street.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults will be asked for a $5 donation whereas children 12 and under will be admitted free.

Among the features of the festival will be photographs, maps, model railroad displays and memorabilia.

FtWRHS Gets Grant for Marketing Study

July 9, 2015

Steel Dynamics has donated $15,000 to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society to use for a marketing and feasibility study for Headwaters Junction, a project to move the organization to downtown Fort Wayne.

The rest of the cost of the study, which is expected to cost $70,000, will be covered by grants and private donations.

Headwaters Junction would offer popular attractions, annual events, programming, excursion trains and an interpretive facility. Officials think that it could draw up to 200,000 additional visitors annually to downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“We are very grateful to Steel Dynamics for helping us kick off the project,” said Kelly Lynch, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society communications director. “The community has steadily come to understand the worldwide appeal of the 765 and its operations.

Having this train is a lot like having one of the last living dinosaurs and the Polar Express all wrapped up into one.”

SWA Group, a landscape and architecture firm, consulted with the city in 2014 to develop a viable riverfront plan.

Earlier this year, the SWA Group described the Headwaters Junction proposal as having the potential to revive the neighborhood and riverfront area of downtown Fort Wayne.