Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Plate Road No. 765’

NKP 765 Throttle Time For Sale on CVSR

August 6, 2018

You may not be able to make smoke and steam like this, but for almost $1,000 you can be the engineer of the Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

If you’ve ever wanted to put your hands on the throttle of a steam locomotive you’ll be able to do so with Nickel Plate Road No. 765 during its visit next month to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

As it did last year, the locomotive’s owner, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, is selling the opportunity to be an engineer or fireman on the 765 for a six-mile trip that will last approximately a half-hour on Sept. 24.

Additional dates may be added. All trips will begin and end at the CVSR’s Fitzwater Yard. For more information contact ticketagent@fwrhs.org.

Tickets are $999 for 30 minutes of throttle time, $299 for 30 minutes of firing time and an add-on of 30 more minutes of throttle time for $99.

Participants will be assured three miles of running forward and three miles of running backward with a three-car train that will operate at a top speed of 15 mph.

Participants will observe firing and running practices for 30 minutes and then will fire or run for 30 minutes.

Ticket prices also include a professionally captured and edited video of the experience.

You  must be 18 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and be in good health.

No guests will be permitted in the cab. Friends and family members may watch your departure and arrival at Fitztwater Yard.

Aside from its two weeks on the CVSR, the 765 will be kept busy this month when it appears at an open house at the FtWRHS facility in New Haven, Indiana, between Aug. 17 and 19.

Admission is free and the 765 will be under steam. Guest locomotive Jeddo Coal No. 85 will be pulling caboose trains. Train ride tickets are $5.

On Sept. 15 and 16 the 765 will be pulling excursions on Metra tracks between Chicago and Joliet, Illinois.

The four-hour trips will include a cocktail reception, VIP layover, live entertainment and more aboard first class cars from the 1940s and 50s. Tickets start at $139.

Advertisements

CVSR Steam Trip Tickets on Sale July 10

July 9, 2018

Nickel Plate 765 steams into the Rockport Road station to begin an excursion on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last September.

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday (July 10) for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s 2018 steam in the valley excursions behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

The first trip on Sept. 21 is for the enjoyment of CVSR members and volunteers and will depart Rockside Road Station for an evening outing featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar service and live entertainment.

Public trips will leave from Rockside Road Station on Sept. 22 and 28 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Trips will depart from Akron Northside Station on Sept. 23 and 29 at 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Tickets are $25 (coach), $35 (open window coach), $40 (table car seating), $50 (lower dome car) and $65 (upper dome level).

Seating will be assigned in all classes except coach and open window coach.

The trips will last for about two hours and include a photo runby at Boston Mill.

Cranking Up My Not So Far Way Back Machine

June 16, 2018

When Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas cranks up his way back machine he usually has in mind going back to the 1970s or earlier.

When I dive into my version of a way back machine I tend to have a much shorter focus in time.

I recently launched a project of reviewing some my older digital images with an eye toward processing and posting some that got overlooked shortly after they were made.

I decided to start with July, August and September of 2011, a period of time that incorporated the first three months that I started doing digital photography.

I was all over the visit that September of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 when it came to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and pulled a series of excursions.

The image above was made on Sept. 17. The 765 was pulling a trip headed for Canton that was billed as a “total track tour.”

I was waiting for it on the Old Station Road bride that is now part of the towpath trail.

What caught my attention about this photograph is the FL9 that is trailing on the train and will bring it back north later today.

The CVSR used that FL9, a former Amtrak and New Haven unit, between 2009 and early 2012.

It was paired with NKP 765 during its September 2011 visit, which would turn out to be the waning days of No. 484’s tenure in the Valley.

No. 484 at the time was owned by F.P. Flynn but has since moved on to working in Canada.

Another notable fact about this train is the presence of two dome cars. The dome with the blue, gold and gray paint was named Emerson at the time and had just been joined by the former Silver Bronco, which was already wearing CVSR colors.

The ex-Silver Bronco assumed the Emerson name for a while before reverting to its original Denver & Rio Grande Western name.

The blue, gold and gray dome in this train is a former Great Northern car than ran on the CVSR between 2009 and 2011.

As I processed this image I also noticed something that had escaped my attention at the time.

Can you find the Akron Railroad Club member in this photo? He is standing  next a tripod with a video camera and has a still photo camera around his neck. Look a little to the left of the Buckeye crossbuck at the grade crossing.

It is Paul Wooding who was part of the impromptu photo line.

CVSR Wins Grant to Restore Coach

May 15, 2018

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is among the winners of a grant from the Emery Rail Heritage Trust.

The CVSR will receive $10,000 for renovation of coach No. 162.

Other grant recipients included $30,000 to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society for installation of positive train control on Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and $10,000 to the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation for coach window repairs.

Two Pennsylvania-based organizations also received grants including $10,000 to Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad for work on Reading Coach No. 1158 and $10,000 to the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust for an
ADA-compatible palace car restoration project.

The Trust awarded grants totaling $212,500 to 19 organizations, including three to help defray the cost of PTC systems.

John H. Emery, a long-time Chicago resident and avid railroad enthusiast who loved to ride trains, established the trust to preserve rolling stock and infrastructure from what he considered to be the Golden Age of Railroads from the 1920 to 1960.

Applications for the next round of grants are due in February 2019.

Organizations may receive grants in only three years of every five More information is available at http://www.emeryrailheritagetrust.com

Joliet Rocket Tickets Go on Sale May 9

May 4, 2018

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society will begin selling tickets on May 9 for a September excursion behind Nickel Plate Road No. 765 in Chicago.

Tickets sales had been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding excursions after Amtrak changed its policies regarding the carriage of private railroad cars.

The Joliet Rocket, like most steam excursions, depends on private cars to make up its consist.

“The passenger consist changed a little bit, but not dramatically,” said FtWRHS officer Kelly Lynch. “We are lucky that our trips are being held in a city with an Amtrak terminal. There are cars in the region that we are sourcing. We are fortunate Metra is our partner and is helping us work with Amtrak.”

The trips will operate on Sept. 15 and 16 from Joliet, Illinois, to Chicago and return. Tickets can be purchased at https://fortwaynerailroad.org/the-joliet-rocket-2018/

Last year’s excursions on the route sold out. The trips offer the opportunity for a steam excursion to travel at a top speed of 70 mph.

There will also be an extended layover at Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station and an open air car placed directly behind the tool car.

The Berkshire-type locomotive is expected to travel to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad following the Chicago excursions and pull trips over two weekends in late September.

NKP 765 Chicago Trips Still Expected to Run

April 12, 2018

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society hopes to begin selling tickets in late May for its September excursions in Chicago behind Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765.

The opening of sales was suspended about two weeks ago after word got out that Amtrak is restricting its carriage of privately-owned passenger cars.

Mainline steam excursions rely heavily on private cars to make up the consists for these trains and their owners often ferry the cars on the back of scheduled Amtrak trains.

In a news release, the FtWRHS said that it is seeking to finish arranging the consist for the Joliet Rocket excursions by May 1 and begin selling tickets within 30 days of that.

The excursions on Sept. 15 and 16 will use Metra tracks between Chicago and Joliet that were once owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

After those excursions, which drew more than 2,500 passengers last year, the NKP 765 is expected to travel to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for excursions on two weekends in late October.

Private Car Owners Scramble in Wake of Amtrak Policy Change

March 30, 2018

Amtrak’s recent decision to cease running charter trains and specials as well as to curtail carriage of privately-owned passenger cars on its trains has sent a trade organization scrambling to rally its members to seek to apply political pressure on the passenger carrier to reverse the decision.

The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners sent a memorandum to its members this week urging them to contact lawmakers and opinion leaders about the significance of private cars but acknowledged that there is little it can do to attack Amtrak’s decision in court.

AAPRCO told its members in the memo that it is “working to get the most accurate information about the full extent of Amtrak’s policy, which may not yet be firmly in place, and to mount the strongest possible effort to push back against it.”

In the meantime, Amtrak’s decision has prompted the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society to delay selling tickets for a planned trip in Chicago in September behind its 2-8-4 Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

The steam locomotive is to pull excursions between Chicago and Joliet, Illinois, on track owned by commuter railroad Metra.

However, the Fort Wayne group relies on privately-owned cars that would use Amtrak trains and facilities to reach Chicago.

Several private car owners have reported in recent weeks that Amtrak has rejected some of their requests to move their cars.

Amtrak’s new policy pertaining to the carriage of private passenger cars will prohibit attaching and detaching those cars to Amtrak trains at points where an Amtrak train is scheduled to dwell for less than 30 minutes.

However, the carrier has yet to spell out in detail how it will handle private cars going forward.

“At this time, we feel it would be imprudent to open ticket sales as previously scheduled before we have more clarity on the situation,” said a Fort Wayne Society news release. “As such, this policy will force us to revisit our contractual agreements with car owners, re-confirm both their availability and costs, and confirm Amtrak’s ability to transport them to our venue. Amtrak’s participation was critical to last year’s Joliet Rocket trips.”

It is not known yet if these development will affect a planned visit of the NKP 765 to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in late September.

For those excursions, the FtWRHS uses CVSR’s own passenger fleet and does not need to bring in private passenger cars.

As for Amtrak’s policy change pertaining to charter trains and special trains, AAPRCO President Robert Donnelley told his members that the association’s annual convention and mid-year special trains are at risk.

“Amtrak’s stated rationale for these changes is that private varnish has the potential to worsen on-time performance, which is a major concern of President and CEO Richard Anderson,” Donnelley wrote. However, he took issue with that.

Another private car owner trade group, the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance said it has contacted Amtrak to express its concerns but it also has told its members that the implications of the Amtrak policy change are ominous.

“The policy as officially released on March 28, 2018, will have drastic effects on many private car owners, excursion operators, private companies, and tourism in many communities that utilize Amtrak’s service,” RPCA President W. Roger Fuehring told Trains magazine.

“As we move forward, we hope to have an open dialogue with Amtrak in regards to discussing this policy. We look forward to returning not only the revenue stream to Amtrak that we produce with our clientele, but the goodwill that we generate on behalf of Amtrak with every trip.”

One point of contention in talks with Amtrak and the private car owners will be how much revenue the national passenger carrier receives from fees charged to handle the cars.

AAPRCO contends that the private car business adds $10 million in gross revenues to Amtrak, but a recent Wall Street Journal article said it was $4 million.

The memo written by Amtrak President Anderson and sent to employees that announced the ban on most special moves and charters suggested that Amtrak has not been recovering its fully allocated costs for those trains and that they have become a distraction.

AAPRCO’s Donnelley has instructed his group’s members to talk up the importance of private passenger cars and the number of jobs associated with the industry.

His memo said this would include employment at shops and other vendor facilities that support private passenger cars.

The railroad preservation community has launched an online petition to protest Amtrak’s decision at the website change.org. The petition has received more than 450 signatures with a goal of 500.

NKP 765 Plans CVSR Trips, Chicago Excursions

March 6, 2018

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is planning to come to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this year although no dates have yet been announced.

That news was buried in the last sentence of a news release announcing an excursion for the 765 in Chicago on Sept. 15 and 16.

The release said that the CVSR excursions were being planned for “later this year.”

As for the Chicago trips, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society said the Berkshire-type steam locomotive will pull trips named the Joliet Rocket over former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific trackage between Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station twice daily on both days.

The society said that each trip will have food, cocktails and live music. Passengers are encouraged to dress in vintage-style clothes

FtWRHS members may begin buying tickets on April 2 with sales opening to everyone else on April 4. No ticket prices have been disclosed.

The Chicago excursions drew more than 2,500 passengers in 2017 from 30 states.

FtWRHS Vice President Kelly Lynch said this year’s excursions will have a longer layover time, an improved catering service and more dome cars.

The society said the Joliet Rocket will be among the 765’s last mainline excursions until it installs positive train control technology on the locomotive.

The Chicago excursions will use tracks owned by Chicago commuter rail agency Metra.

NKP 765 Schedule Release Expected Within Month

February 14, 2018

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society expects to release within the next month its excursion schedule for this year involving Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

In an earlier report at the website of Trains magazine, the society had indicated that it was eyeing trips in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

For the past several years the Berkshire-type locomotive has appeared on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September.

In the meantime, the society is using the downtime between excursions to carry out a required boiler inspection.

Federal Railroad Administration rules require operating steam locomotives to undergo a boiler inspection and rebuild every 15 years or 1,472 service days.

Typically, that process is done at one time, but the FtWRHS won FRA approval to conduct it in stages over a two-year period so as to not miss an excursion season.

FtWRHS Vice President Kelly Lynch said the inspection and rebuild is expensive and time consuming, and the society devotes a portion of is excursion revenue toward that endeavor.

During the current winter, society personnel have been conducting an external and ultrasound boiler inspection of the boiler.

The ultrasound survey is about 99 percent done, Lynch said, and crews have found that 765’s boiler is in good condition with little or no deterioration of its steel.

Warm Memories of NKP 765 on the CVSR

January 10, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 cruises along the Cuyahoga River where it runs parallel to the tracks along Riverside Road north of Boston Mill station. Alas, the vegetation is obscuring most of the river.

I have many motivations for making photographs, but chief among them is to relive later something about which I have fond memories.

There are some experiences in life that seem warmer when you look back on them than they did at the time you actually experienced them.

It wasn’t that you didn’t enjoy it at the time, but some experiences have that ability to bring sunshine to a cloudy day, warmth to a cold day, and happiness to a trying day.

Such is the case with memories of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 plying the rails of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The big Berkshire has run on the CVSR enough times that many railfans in Northeast Ohio have grown complacent about it. It is no longer a “must see and photograph” event for them.

Maybe so, but every time it comes I remind myself that it might not happen again. And how often can you see a mainline steam locomotive in operation?

This galley of photographs includes images that didn’t quite fit the story line of my previous postings about the NKP 765 that I wrote last September.

I purposely saved them for winter when cold temperatures and snow storms would have us pining for the warmer days of late summer and early fall.

All of these images take me back to an outing I won’t soon forget and will always remember with fondness.

Along Riverside Road during the Akron Railroad Club picnic at the Valley Picnic Area on the other side of the road.

Southbound at Hillside Road during the second excursion of the day from Rockside Road station.

Arriving at the CVSR’s Rockside Road station. Ultimately, it’s all about having an experience that can’t easily be had anymore.

The photo line captures memories to be cherished later as the NKP 765 arrives at Rockside Road station.

Greetings from the fireman’s side. Note the tribute to the late Jerry Jacobson.

The NKP 765 crew waves to the crowd waiting to board at Rockside Road station.