Posts Tagged ‘Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’

Ft.WRHS Acquires 2 Ex-PRR Passenger Cars

June 23, 2022

Two former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger cars have been acquired by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society for excursion train use.

The cars are former sleepers Collinsville Inn and Franklin Inn that were built by the Budd Company in 1949.

The Pennsy converted them to coaches in 1963. The cars were donated to the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 2008. The Ft.WRHS acquired the cars from the Washington chapter.

The Collinsville Inn ran for a time on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Both cars now feature a PRR livery.

Each car is expected to be used on excursions of the Indiana Rail Experience, a series of trips to be pulled by former Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

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.

NKP 765 to Run on Indiana Northeastern

May 6, 2022

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will be exploring new territory in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan this summer.

The Indiana Northeastern has agreed to host excursions behind the Berkshire-type locomotive between July and October over multiple years.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society said information about the trips and ticket information will be released later this month or in early June.

Indiana Northeastern was founded in 1992 and operates over 100 miles of track that was once owned by the New York Central and Wabash railroads.

It handles more than 5,000 carloads a year for 25 shippers. The railroad has offices and a locomotive repair facility in South Milford and Hudson, Indiana, respectively.

The excursion agreement is being named the Indiana Rail Experience.

The Fort Wayne group said it will collaborate with the Little River Railroad, Norfolk & Western Business Car No. 300 Preservation Society, Steuben County Tourism Bureau, and City of Angola.

For more information visit fortwaynerailroad.org.

Local Groups Get Emery Trust Grants

March 19, 2022

Two Northeast Ohio organizations were among the 22 recipients of grants announced this week by the John Emery Rail Heritage Trust for 2022.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will receive $15,000 to help pay for interior renovation of former Burlington baggage-coach Silver Salon for ADA accessibility.

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society of Cleveland will receive $ 10,000 for further work on 1924 Pullman car Mount Baxter.

Other groups that were awarded grants included the East Broad Top Railroad, $15,500 for truck and traction-motor maintenance for gas-electric car M-1; the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society,: $10,000 for continued work on baggage car No. 3671, built for Santa Fe by American Car & Foundry in 1955; and the Pennsylvania-based West Chester Railroad Heritage Association, $10,000 for continued renovations of Reading Blueliner coaches.

The Emery Trust will award $350,000, for rail preservation projects this year. It received

34 applications requesting more than $1 million.

In a news release, the Emery Trust described itself as the largest in the United States whose grants are solely for rail restoration projects.

The trust was founded by John Emery of Chicago who rode trains around the world between 1920 and 1960.

FtWRHS Acquires ITM Equipment

March 16, 2022

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has obtained seven pieces of equipment once owned by the Indiana Transportation Museum.

The equipment includes two former Milwaukee Road F-units, a former Milwaukee B-unit, a Pennsylvania Railroad hopper, a Nickel Plate Road boxcar, a Louisville & Nashville boxcar, and a Wabash boxcar. 

The Fort Wayne group plans to keep the boxcars but offer the other equipment to other organizations.

Kelly Lunch, vice president of the Fort Wayne group, said a private donor assisted in saving the equipment.

ITM was evicted by the City of Noblesville four years ago from a park that the museum had used for several years.

Some of the equipment saved by the Fort Wayne group had been left behind in Noblesville while other pieces were in Logansport, Indiana, where ITM at one time had sought to establish a new museum site.

The equipment has been moved to private property where restoration efforts are underway.

The Fort Wayne group is best known as the owner and operator of NKP 2-8-4 No. 765.

NKP 765 to Return to CVSR in May 2022

December 10, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will return to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in 2022, but for the first time it is coming in the spring.

The CVSR and Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns and operates the Berskhire-type locomotive, said will be run May 13-15 and May 20-22.

Typically, the 765 has run on the CVSR during September. Trains will depart from Rockside Road station in Independence on May 14 and 21 and from Northside station in Akron on May 15 and 22. All of these trips will feature a photo runby.

Trips will depart Rockside Road on May 14 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. May 21 trips depart Rockside at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Trains depart Akron on all dates at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Night excursions with photo opportunities will operate on May 13 and 21, leaving from Rockside Road station at 7:30 p.m.

The three-and-a-half hour outing will involve a night photo shoot with special lighting illuminating a stationary 765.

Other special events being held in conjunction with these excursions include dinner aboard the train, a murder mystery trip, and wine and cocktails trips for passengers age 21 and older.

All of these special events will occur on evening runs and depart from Rockside Road station.

The dinner trains will operate on May 13 and 20, the murder mystery event operates on May 13, the cocktails on the rails is set for May 20, and a canvas and wine event is slated for May 21.

The latter involves an artist providing step-by-step instruction on how to create a painting while the participates sip wine.

Ticket sales for CVSR members begin Dec. 10 with general public ticket sales starting on Dec, 14.

Fares for regular excursions range from $25 to $70 depending on the type of seating class selected.

Prices for special events range from $75 to $135 depending on seating class. Dinner train tickets range from $135 to $150 per person.

More information and ticket sales are available at https://www.cvsr.org/steam

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.