Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Plate Road 757’

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.

NKP 765 to Appear at Mad River Museum

July 21, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will be in residence at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in late September.

It will be reunited with another former NKP Berkshire steamer, No. 757, which is part of the museum’s collection.

No. 765 will be at the museum from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3 and will participate in a number of events, including caboose rides, hostler experiences and night photo sessions.

The event is being billed as “Berkshires in Bellevue.” The 765 will be appearing in Bellevue following a two-week stay on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The 765 and 757 are among six surviving Berkshire type locomotives of a one-time fleet of 80.

Museum president Chris Beamer said it will be the first time since 2013 that the 765 has operated at the museum.

Bellevue Museum Meets Fundraising Goal

May 10, 2021

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue announced that it met its spring fundraising goal to benefit Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 757.

The museum raised $7,478.14, which will be matched a $5,500 matching grant. The funding will be used for restoration and display of the 757.

The announcement said museum officials learned in late March that the organization would have enough support to build a display track this spring and started ordering materials.

The track was completed on April 27 and the 757 was rolled outside onto the new track. Plans are to display the Berkshire-type locomotive during June, July, and August.

Other events scheduled include on May 22 the Back on Track Car/Truck Show.

The museum will begin daily operation on May 29. Hours are noon to 4 p.m.

Museum Moves NKP 757 Indoors

July 28, 2020

A former Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive how part of the collection of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum has been moved indoors.

In a post on its Facebook page the museum said it moved Berkshire-type locomotive No. 757 to the new Mary Cooper restoration building.

Once the locomotive undergoes a cosmetic restoration it will be moved outside to a display structure that has yet to be built.

The post noted that moving the 2-8-5 No. 757 indoors was a bittersweet move because many museum visitors have enjoyed seeing it.

“After spending the past 75 years outside the locomotive will need some attention to preserve it for the future,” the museum said.

It said special events are being planned so the public can view the 757 in its current location during the restoration process, which is expected to last a few years.

Charting the Surviving NKP Berkshire Locomotives

September 26, 2019

Former Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 755 is only surviving NKP Berkshire that gets to watch a passenger train pass by twice a day.

With Nickel Plate Road Berkshire-type No. 765 in the spotlight this week on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Ed Ribinskas decided to dip into his photo archives and create a montage of images of the six surviving NKP Berks.

The NKP acquired 80 Berkshires with the first 15 in the series being built by the American Locomotive Company. The Lima Locomotive Works built the remaining 65 engines.

NKP No. 755 has been on static display in Conneaut, Ohio, adjacent to the former New York Central passenger station, since October 1964.

Retired in April 1958, it sat in storage until being donated by the railroad to the Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum. It was recently given a new coat of paint.

In the photograph above, No. 755 is greeting the passage of Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited, which has the Phase I heritage livery on P42DC No. 156.

You can see all of the gauges, levers and controls of the 755 just as the crew saw them in the 1950s because the cab is protected from the elements by a Plexiglas barrier.

NKP No. 757 sat for many years on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania near Strasburg after arriving there in 1964.

The 757 had been set aside for display in Bellevue, Ohio, but the city couldn’t afford the cost of setting up a display for it. So it went to Pennsylvania.

The two images of No. 757 below at the Pennsylvania museum were made in June 2015.

Since then the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue has acquired the 757 and plans to build a special shelter for it. It is shown in Bellevue in September 2019 after having arrived there last February.

NKP No. 759 is in the collection of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The 759 was restored to operating condition in 1968 and the following year pulled the Golden Spike Centennial excursion. It also pulled other excursions in the East until October 1973.

It is shown at Steamtown in October 2015.

NKP No. 763 was in the collection of the Virginia Transportation Museum where it is shown in July 1987.

The late Jerry Jacobson acquired it in 2007 and moved it to his Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio, where it is shown on June 1, 2013, during an Akron Railroad Club tour.

One former NKP Berkshire is still in Lima where it was built.

NKP No. 779 was the last steam locomotive built by Lima and was released on May 13, 1949.

It is shown in Lincoln Park in Lima where it has been since 1963.

Finally, there is NKP No. 765 whose story is well known. It sat in a park in Fort Wayne, Indiana, until being restored to operating condition by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society 40 years ago.

It is shown below pulling an excursion at Avon Lake Sept. 27, 1987, back in the days of the Norfolk Southern steam program, and during moves in Ohio in 2015 on NS rails.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

NKP 757 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

NKP 757 on display in Pennsylvania not long before it moved to Ohio.

No. 757 is back in Bellevue.

No. 759 on display at Steamtown. It was part of the original collection of Steamtown USA.


NKP 763 when it was on display in Roanoke, Virginia.

NKP 763 is awaiting restoration to operating condition at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

NKP No. 779 in Lincoln Park in Lima, Ohio.

At Avon Lake, Ohio, on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline on Sept. 27, 1987.

NKP 765 charges through tiny Dorset, Ohio, in Ashtabula County on July 23, 2015, on the NS Youngstown Line en route to Youngstown.

A Nickel Plate steam locomotive crosses a trestle built by the Nickel Plate to cross the Grand River in Painesville, Ohio. The 765 was making a ferry move to Ashtabula, Ohio, in July 2015.

What I Came to See

July 18, 2019

Let the record show that my last railfan outing as a resident of Northeast Ohio was a trip to Bellevue on June 15 to take part in the annual Bellevue Day of the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts, a Cleveland-based group.

And let the record show that the weather that day was lousy. It was overcast and I encountered rain en route that would be off and on until late afternoon when it became a steady rain.

My camera never made it out of the bag although I made a few images with my iPhone, including this wedgie shot of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 757.

I wasn’t going to leave Bellevue without getting an image of the Berkshire, which is the most recent addition to the collection of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum.

You’ve probably heard the story of how during its working life No. 757 was based in Bellevue. After retiring in June 1957, the 757 was stored for several years in Bellevue with the intent of it being donated to the city for static display.

But the city didn’t have the money to create a display site and the Mad River museum had not yet been created.

So the 757 went off to a Pennsylvania museum where it was on display for many years.

In time the Mad River group raised money and worked out a deal to bring the 757 back to Bellevue.

Fundraising to create a suitable display pavilion for the 757 is ongoing and for now it is located in the coach yard along Southwest Street.

Seeing a break in the rain I went for a visit and created this photograph. I don’t know when I’ll get back to Bellevue, but it might be a while.

When that happens I have unfinished business to take care of, namely getting another image of this Berk in better light. Maybe by then the restoration will be farther along.

Museum Planning Berkday Party for NKP 757

June 18, 2019


Nickel Plate Road 757 is currently on public display on one of the coach yard tracks at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum.

In what is being billed as a Berkday celebration, the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue will mark the 75th birthday of Nickel Plate Road No. 757 on Aug. 17.

The Berkshire-type locomotive will be feted during a party that is in part a fund-raising event to raise money to continue the restoration of the engine built in Lima, Ohio.

No. 757 was based in Bellevue during its revenue service days. Retired in June 1958, the steamer was stored in Bellevue into the 1960s with the intent of donating it to the city for static display.

But the city lacked a railroad museum and didn’t have the resources to afford to create a display location.

The locomotive was moved to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania which displayed it for several years.

Mad River and the Pennsylvania museum in 2017 worked out a deal that would send the 757 back to Bellevue, where it arrived last February.

Tickets for the Berkday party will cost $75 per person and include admission to the museum as well as access to the cab of the 757.

The festivities will begin at the museum’s former New York Central freight house with a program explaining the history of the 757, how it was returned to Bellevue and the museum’s plans to display and use the locomotive.

Participants will then enjoy a barbecue buffet and birthday cake catered by Bone Boys BBQ in a 1927 NKP dining car parked next to the freight house. There will also be 757 merchandise for sale.

Presentations and meals will start at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the museum during regular business hours or by calling  419-483-2222 or 567-228-9866.

They can also be purchased online at Online sales will incur a $3 handling fee.

The party will be held rain or shine and no refunds will be given unless cancelled by the museum due to unforeseen circumstances.

No tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the event.

All proceeds will be used for the restoration and display of locomotive 757.

Bellevue Museum Gets Grant for Dome Car

December 21, 2017

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue has received a $10,000 grant from Trains magazine that will be used to restore the nation’s first dome car.

The money will be used to restore the dome section of the Silver Dome, a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy car that was modified from coach Silver Alchemy at the railroad’s shops in Aurora, Illinois, in 1945.

General Motors Vice President Cyrus Osborn is credited with coming up with the concept of a dome car while riding the head-end of a train through Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon in 1944.

The museum acquired Silver Dome from Amtrak in 1978. The Trains grant will be used to replace trim and Plexiglas that has become discolored. The museum also plans to restore the upholstery and carpets as well as do window sill work.

Trains received 40 applications for its 2017 Preservation Award. The grant program is now in its 18th year.

In another development, the Mad River museum said on its website recently that it has raised more than $70,000 toward its goal of $100,000 this year to use to acquire Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive 757.

The locomotive is currently at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.

The Mad River museum plans to place No. 757 on static display once it arrives in Bellevue.

No. 757 had been set aside by the Nickel Plate Road to donate to Bellevue, but the city lacked a museum at the time. It therefore wound up being sent to Pennsylvania.

Mad River has said its overall fundraising goal is $250,000 of which $150,000 will be used to move the 757 to Bellevue.

On its website, the museum said if it raises $150,000 by next spring it will be able to move the 757 to Bellevue as early as next summer.

In recent months, Mad River volunteers and contractors have traveled to Strasburg to prepare the locomotive for shipment.

More information, including how to donate to the cause, visit

NKP 757 to be Acquired by Bellevue Museum

August 2, 2017

Two museums have worked out an agreement that will result in a former Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive moving to Ohio.

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum said this week that the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has agreed to send it NKP No. 757.

In Bellevue, the 757 will be placed on static display. NKP 757 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire-type that was built by Lima Locomotives Works in 1944.

“We are very excited to be able to bring the 757 back to Bellevue,” said Made River museum President Chris Beamer. “The absence of a mainline steam locomotive in our collection has been something we have wanted to correct for a long time.”

No. 757 last operated on June 15, 1958. The Nickel Plate had intended to donate it to the city of Bellevue, but it lacked a suitable place to display it.

The locomotive was stored in Bellevue for several years before being donated to the Pennsylvania museum in 1966.

Moving the 757 will cost $250,000 and the Mad River museum is raising funds to pay for that. It has launched a website to provide further information about the fundraising campaign.

The Mad River museum has more than 50 pieces of equipment displayed or stored on 10 acres of property and five buildings. It describes itself as having the most extensive collection of NKP equipment and artifacts of any museum.

Negotiations to bring NKP 757 to Bellevue began earlier this year. The Mad River museum will own the 757 once it has been removed from its current site in Pennsylvania.