Posts Tagged ‘Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’

NKP 765 Back Home Again in Indiana

October 7, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 returned home to New Haven, Indiana, On Monday after spending much of September in Ohio.

The Berkshire-type locomotive pulled excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Northeast Ohio and then put in an appearance at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

While in Bellevue, the 765 was reunited with one-time running mate NKP 757, which is being cosmetically restored by the Mad River museum.

It was the first time two NKP Berkshire locomotives were coupled together since the early 1960s when many steam locomotives were lined up waiting to be scrapped.

Museum officials said that more than 2,000 purchased tickets for caboose rides, hostling tours, and a night photo session.

They said several hundred more showed up just to see the two locomotives together.

During the event, the 765 crew ran a steam line to No. 757 to allow the latter’s whistle to sound. During the night photo session, a third Berkshire made a temporary appearance with No. 765 assuming the cosmetic role of Wheeling & Lake Erie No. 828, whose whistle has been featured on the 765 previously.

Some cosmetic changes to the 765 were undertaken to give it the appearance of a W&LE steamer.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the 765 said planning is underway to celebrate the locomotive’s 50th anniversary next year.

Society officials said they are talking with various possible hosts in locations the 765 might be able to visit.

FtWRHS Vice President Kelly Lynch said next year also is the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, so plans for a special Steam in the Valley experience are in the works.

Berkshires United in Bellevue

September 25, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 arrived in Bellevue this week and was reunited with fellow Berkshire No. 757.

The two locomotives will be posed side by side over the next two weekends during a “Berkshires in Bellevue” event that will feature caboose rides, hostler experiences. and cab rides in the 765.

A night photo session also will be held and has already sold out.

The 757 is currently undergoing a cosmetic restoration by Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, which is hosting the event.

The 757 and 765 are among six surviving Berkshires of 80 built by Lima Locomotive Works.

The 757 moved to the Mad River museum in 2019 from its former home at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Ft.WRHS Fires Up SD9 it is Restoring

August 25, 2021

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society announced that it reached a milestone last weekend when it fired up for the first time a historic former Nickel Plate Road diesel that it is working to restore to operating condition.

SD9 No. 358 was donated to the society by Norfolk Southern in 2010. It was built in 1957 by EMD. It was initially used to haul coal on the NKP’s Wheeling & Erie District.

NS last operated the locomotive in the late 2000s. Last weekend’s firing up of the 358 was the first time that had happened since the unit was retired.

FtWRHS members have been working to restore the locomotive since at least 2017. At the time, the group said it would restore the 358 cosmetically and eventually to operating condition.

“What follows will be several weeks of testing, adjustments, and then prep work for paint to return it to its original 1957 appearance,” the Society wrote on its Facebook page.

Donations are still being sought to complete the project. They can be made at https://fortwaynerailroad.org/donate/

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.

Wabash Wood Caboose Restored

February 7, 2021

A wood former Wabash caboose has been rebuilt by the Indiana-based Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

The century-old car is one of just two wooden Wabash cabooses in existence.

Restoration work on caboose No. 2534 began in 2018 and involved more than dozen regular volunteers working over three years.

The volunteer corps devoted more than 5,000 hours and replaced more than 90 percent of the structure with more than 1,000 pieces of new wood.

The caboose had been displayed between 1957 and 1984 in Swinney Park in Fort Wayne.

It was then moved to the Society’s shop in New Haven in deteriorated condition.

NKP 765 to Run During October Event

August 25, 2020

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will be operating during an October event sponsored by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

The Autumn Railroad Festival on Oct. 1-4 will feature trips behind the 765 as well as other attractions, including food trucks and railroad displays.

Tickets for the event are limited and will cost cost $8 for a train ride and $5 for general admission.

Also being sold will be tickets for the 765 Experience, which enables participants to operate the locomotive as well as get a tour of the maintenance facilities that are used to maintain it.

Those tickets will cost $284 for the tour and throttle time, and $150 for throttle time only.

Sales will begin for FtWRHS members on Sept. 1. Other tickets will be sold starting Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. on the society’s website.

The train rides will last approximately 20 minutes and depart from the society’s facility in New Haven, Indiana.

Various precautions will be in place to protect against COVID-19. These steps, which have been approved by the Allen County Health Department, will include staff and volunteers who interact with the public wearing wear gloves and face coverings.

Plexiglass barriers will be in place at the souvenir table register, which also will have reduced displays to minimize waiting and exposure of merchandise.

Trains will operate at 50 percent or less capacity and no more than 40 people will be admitted to the grounds.

All equipment and frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized between trips.

To reduce dwell time, trains trips will be staggered every 30 minutes. No one will be admitted to the event who has not already purchased a ticket.

All events are being held outdoors with the shop not open to visitors. Attendees are encouraged to follow state guidelines/mandates regarding face coverings.

However, train passengers must wear a mask or suitable face covering. Children age 3 will be exempt from this rule.

Other steps that are being undertaken are described on the FtWRHS website.

Participants in the 765 Experience must be at least age 16 and have a valid driver’s license.

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.

RBM&N Helps with Reading 2100 Restoration

July 5, 2020

The Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad has donated a new fire door casting to the group restoring Reading 4-8-4 No. 2100.

Members of the American Steam Railroad, which is restoring the T-1 at a former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland, journeyed recently to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, to accept the donation.

The RBM&N is itself restoring another former Reading T-1, No. 2102.

Reading & Northern, which owns the RBM&N, had the new fire door cast by a foundry located near Port Clinton.

“The Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern believes in supporting groups like these, to continue to educate the public about railroads,” Mike Fisher, general manager for RBM&N passenger operations, said in a statement.

The statement noted that RBM&N has provided assistance to other groups including the owners of Central of New Jersey 0-6-0 No. 113, the Colebrookdale Railroad in Boyerstown, Pennsylvania; the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns Nickel Plate Road No. 765 in 2015; and National Railway Historical Society chapters in eastern Pennsylvania.

Fundraising Goal Met in Restoration of NKP Diesel

January 23, 2020

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society said earlier this month that it had exceeded its goal of receiving $5,000 in December in donations that will be used to restore a former Nickel Plate Road SD9 locomotive.

An anonymous donor offered to match up to $5,358 to Project 358 if other donors would collectively provide that much by Dec. 31.

The Society did not say in its social media accounts how much money it raised last month.

However, it indicated that the restoration of NKP No. 358 could be completed this year.

When the fundraising campaign began late last year, FtWRHS said it needed $18,000 to complete the restoration and if the December fundraising campaign reached its goal it would put the total funds raised to $13,000.

The Society plans to restore No. 358 to its as-built appearance in operating condition.

Project 358 Fundraising Goal About Halfway There

December 11, 2019

The campaign by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society to raise more than $5,000 to match a challenge grant is halfway toward its goal.

An anonymous donor offered to give up to $5,358 to Project 358 if other donors would collectively match that by Dec. 31.

Project 358 is raising money to restore a late 1950s built EMD SD9 that operated on the Nickel Plate Road for several years before being retired by eventual successor Norfolk Southern. It was donated by NS to the FtWRHS in 2010.

Donations can be made online at fwhrs.org/donate or via mail at Project 358, PO Box 11017, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46855.

Project 358 needs $18,000 to complete the restoration of former NKP 358 and if the current fundraising campaign reaches its goal will put the total funds raised to $13,000.

The Society will use the funding to restore No. 358 to its as-built appearance.

The locomotive still needs electric work, painting and fabrication work.