Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Plate Road’

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.

Repainting Finished in Time for NKP Convention

September 29, 2021

Just in time for the annual convention of the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society the Cincinnati Scenic Railway finished repainting a restored GP30 in a NKP livery.

No. 902 pulled an excursion on Sept. 24 for the NKP historical society on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in Southwest Ohio.

The locomotive was built for the NKP in 1962 but of late had been painted in a livery of the Great Miami Railroad.

CSR had hired a contractor to repaint No. 902 but the job was delayed by several days of rain. As late as the evening before the NKP convention was to begin the contractor was still applying lettering and nose striping.

The next day No. 902 along with sister ex-NKP geep No. 901 pulled an excursion train for convention attendees that went from Lebanon to Mason and then to Monroe before returning to Lebanon.

That evening, No. 902 pulled a fundraising special to Mason and back to raise money to pay for the painting cost.

No. 901 also is painted in a NKP livery and has been used to pull Ohio Rail Experience excursion trains, which CSR oversees.

CSR owns Chesapeake & Ohio GP7 No. 5704 and a former Illinois Central GP10 that is in Conrail colors and numbered 7544.

Steam Saturday: Another Bellevue Visit

September 25, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 has been in Bellevue many times over the years. One of those visits occurred on May 12, 2013, when it pulled an excursion train into Bellevue from Rocky River.

That would have made it a total NKP experience given that the track used for the excursion once belonged to the Nickel Plate.

Bellevue was a major service point for the Nickel Plate and during the steam era the 765 and other Berkshire-type locomotives were frequent visitors there.

In the photograph above, the 765 is on a former Wheeling & Lake Erie line to Toledo with the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in the background.

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.

Indiana Short Line Loses Lease on Track

September 7, 2021

An Indiana short line railroad will cease operations on Sept. 20 after losing its lease of track owned by Norfolk Southern.

The Connersville & New Castle, a Class III carrier, has leased track between New Castle and Beesons, on a former Nickel Plate Road branch.

NS canceled the lease and said it planned to assumed common carrier service obligations on Sept. 20.

However, NS also indicated in a recent filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that it planned to contract with another short line, the New Castle Southern, to operate the line.

The C&NC began operating the 21-mile route between Connersville and New Castle in 1997, taking it over from Indiana Hi Rail.

At its peak, Indiana Hi Rail operated 461 miles of track in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. It filed for bankruptcy protection 1994 and it assets were sold piecemeal.

Officially, the Connersville & New Castle is known as the C&NC and uses the reporting marks CNUR.

Showing Signs of Wear

June 26, 2021

Norfolk & Western No. 2149, a former Nickel Plate Road Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 sits outside the shops in Brewster in June 1975. The unit is worn and a little battered, but that comes with the territory of having been a hard worker for all these years on the railroad.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

An Alco S-4 in Brewster

May 19, 2021

Norfolk & Western Alco S-4 No. 2049 is framed by the turntable in Btewster in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The unit was originally on the roster of the Nickel Plate Road.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Not Many of These Left

March 18, 2021

While growing up in east central Illinois I often noticed that many railroad lines had a semaphore signal not far from where they crossed another railroad.

They were most common on branches of the Illinois Central but I also remember seeing them on other railroads as well, including the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The semaphore blade always seemed to be in the same position and in my childhood mind I wondered if the blade moved after a train passed it.

Years later I would learn that these were known as distant signals meant to give a crew a warning that they were approaching an interlocked crossing with and to be prepared to stop.

The semaphore blade was fixed into an approach indication.

Although distant signals are still used there are few of them that are semaphores.

During a recent outing to railfan the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in its namesake city in Indiana, I spotted a former Nickel Plate Road passenger station and a semaphore signal being used as a distant signal.

The rail line in question was once part of a former Lake Erie & Western route that ran from Fort Wayne to New Castle where it split into branches continuing south to Rushville and Connersville.

The line to Connersville is still in place and owned by the Connersville & New Castle Railroad. The line to Rushville, though, has been abandoned.

NS still owns the NKP depot and as can be seen above has kept it in good condition. Few trains pass by here today and the station is mostly used by the maintenance of way department.

There hasn’t been a scheduled passenger train here since August 1929.

A few blocks to the right of this location is the former Pennsylvania Railroad line that once was part of a Chicago-Cincinnati route.

The ex-PRR from New Castle to the Cincinnati region and the ex-NKP from New Castle to Fort Wayne now make up the NS New Castle District. The former Pennsy is abandoned northwest of New Castle.

Back in the day, the PRR and NKP ran combined through the northern part of New Castle.

Good Catches While Trolling CSX, W&LE

March 3, 2021

I always remember Marty Surdyk using the fisherman’s term of “trolling” when hoping for a good catch.

On May 23, 2008, I had a good day of trolling during the afternoon before an Akron Railroad Club meeting. Craig Sanders and I caught a few unexpected prizes.

In Grafton as in photos one through three we caught CSX (ex Baltimore & Ohio) on the former Cleveland, Lorain & West Virginia) crossing the Big Four. Conrail units were still around but the surprise was the B&O caboose restored to excellent condition.

I also got a railfan (Craig) in the first photo. Often I did that on purpose to document who was on the scene.

Afterwards we were working our way to Spencer and we had a catch by surprise on the W&LE. Photos four and five show former Nickel Plate coaches 62 and 90 of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society being shipped to Wellington for short excursions on the Lorain & Wheeling.

Finally in photos six and seven on the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown we caught an empty Wheeling & Lake Erie stone hopper train headed back west to Carey.

Photo six was made west of Spencer while photo seven was at New London about to get on CSX (ex Big Four) on trackage rights to Greenwich.

Today I consider those heritage unit catches: Wisconsin Central, and Denver & Rio Grande Western.

I always wonder since we had good catches, did I have fish for dinner?

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

An Ex-Nickel Plate Heavy Hauler

February 19, 2021

Norfolk & Western SD0 No. 2354 sits at the locomotive service area in Brewster yard circa late 1960s/early 1970′. The unit was built by EMD for the Nickel Plate Road so it must feel at home here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas