Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Plate Road No. 765’

That California Zephyr Look

September 21, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 made its 2018 debut on Friday evening on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad by pulling an excursion for CVSR volunteers and members.

But the star the show wasn’t the 2-8-4 Berkshire but the two newest additions to the CVSR passenger cars fleet, a pair of dome cars that once operated on  the fabled California Zephyr.

The Silver Solarium and Silver Lariat were making their inaugural trip through the Cuyahoga Valley and the railroad did it up in style.

All three CVSR dome cars were placed end to end at the rear of the train. For the southbound run to Indigo Lake, the Silver Solarium operated uncovered just as it did when it carried the markers for the CZ.

NKP 765 and the dome cars will be back in action on Saturday and Sunday with four public trips, but it remains to be seen if the Silver Solarium will operate on those days as it did Friday night or if a diesel locomotive will be attached to it.

The train is seen departing from the Canal Exploration Center station.


NKP 765 Ferrying in Cleveland

September 21, 2018

Since the ferry move of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was at night and through the wee hours of the morning I didn’t have to go out to Bellevue to get it.

This year was a different way to get to the valley. These photos are after the train was turned on the wye at Rockport. These photos are at Brookpark Road and the Chevy plant and B&O crossing.

The top photo shows the 765 crossing Brookpark on the connection from the Belt line to the B&O yard.

Photos two through five show the train backing on CSX (B&O/CL&W) to cross the belt line and continue on the CL&W where it parallels Interstate 71 to RD and connecting to the Valley still on CSX but facing the proper direction.

What was gratifying with the move was the cooperation of CSX and no diesel whatsoever.

Photos six through eight show the 765 backing on the CL&W to connect with the CT&V at RD at Jennings near Harvard, still on CSX.

The last photo shows the train at Willow (Brookpark Road and Interstate 77).

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas



NKP 765 Makes Ferry Move in Darkness

September 20, 2018

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 made its ferry move to Northeast Ohio today largely under the cover of darkness.

Reported sightings on indicate that the steamer left the facility of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in New Haven, Indiana, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

It had reached Latty, Ohio, by almost 9:30 p.m. Leipsic at 10:14 p.m., Fostoria at 11:30 p.m. and Bellevue at 12:25 a.m.

There may have been a service stop there because the 2-8-4 was reported there as late as 1:34 a.m.

The most recent sighting posted on the website was at 2:29 a.m. at Vermilion.

There was an unconfirmed report that the ferry move was to have been made on Wednesday but was delayed to due to signal problems on the NS Fostoria District.

The FtWRHS Twitter feed seemed to substantiate that report, saying Norfolk Southern was dealing with signal outages.

The Twitter feed also said the 765 arrived at Rockport Yard. The Tweet was sent at 8:14 a.m. A report on said the steamer was at Rockport Yard at 5:30 a.m.

NKP 765 is slated to pull excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad over the next two weekends.

The first of those is scheduled to depart from Rockside Road station in Independence at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Various videos posted online and reposted on the FtWRHS Twitter feed showed the ferry move to Fort Wayne earlier this week.

In the consist were the two dome cars the CVSR recently purchased. The cars, the Silver Solarium and Silver Lariat, are all silver and have the California Zephyr name in their nameplate.

The Silver Lariat is slated to be in the consist for the steam trips being offered on the CVSR.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.