Posts Tagged ‘NKP 765’

Throttle Time Being Offered on NKP 765 for $999

July 20, 2017

Want to put your hands on the throttle of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 when it comes to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September?

A $999 fee will put you in the engineer’s seat for 30 minutes and a 6-mile roundtrip between Fitzwater Yard and Brecksville.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the Berkshire locomotive, will be offering opportunities to run NKP 765 on Sept. 18 and 25.

Participants will observe how the locomotive is operated and receive a half-hour of instruction before being allowed to run the locomotive at speeds up to 15 mph.

As part of the experience, the guest engineers and firemen will have their 30 minutes in the cab recorded on a professionally captured and edited video.

Participants must be 18, have a valid driver’s license and be in good health.

For a fee of $299, you can spend a half hour firing the NKP 765. Other packages include GoPro add-on throttle time for $99 and the complete fireman and engineer experience for $1,399.

The latter includes 30 minutes of being the fireman, 30 minutes of being the engineer, two open window tickets to ride a CVSR steam excursion and a tour of the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

“This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone that participates,” said Bill Otter, president of FWRHS. “There is rarely an experience at this duration or speed with an engine like the 765 in this country. Events like these are a great opportunity to realize a life-long dream, but they are also crucial to keeping the 765 operating for future generations.”

Tickets on Sale for NKP 765 Trips on CVSR

June 22, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for excursions behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, which will return to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for two weekends in September.

The Berkshire-type locomotive, which was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio, will pull excursions on Sept. 16 and 23 from Rockside Road station in Independence and on Sept. 17 and 24 from Akron Northside station.

Each trip will be two hours in duration and feature a photo runby at Boston Mill station.

Boarding times will be 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at Rockside Road station and 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. in Akron.

New this year will be a Friday excursion that will be open only to CVSR members and volunteers. That trip will depart Rockside station at 5:30 p.m. and feature a 1940s theme. NKP 765 was built in 1944.

Passengers aboard the Friday trip will be served complimentary hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available along with live entertainment from the period. There will be a photo runby during the excursion.

Tickets for the public trips are $25 for coach seating, $30 for an open-window coach, $38 for deluxe seating in dining car, $40 for Silver Bronco first class seating and $50 for Silver Bronco dome section seating.

Tickets can be purchased online at

NKP 765 Trip Tickets Nearly Sold Out

June 2, 2017

Tickets for the June 17 and 18 excursions in Chicago behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 are almost sold out.

The restored Berkshire steam engine will pull trips from Joliet, Illinois, to Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station over tracks owned by Metra and once used by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the locomotive, said that half of the trips are sold out.

These include both Saturday trips. Earlier this week there were about 100 tickets left for the Sunday trips.

NKP 765 To Pull Chicago Trips in June

March 16, 2017

Two excursions have been announced for this summer involving Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

The 2-8-4 Berkshire type steam engine will pulls trips between Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago LaSalle Street Station over tracks used by commuter carrier Metra.

The trips are planned for June 17 and 18 and are sponsored by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and Metra.

Dubbed the Joliet Rocket, the trips will begin at the Joliet Transportation Center and take passengers to an event in Chicago featuring live music, entertainment, history re-enactors, vintage cocktails, appetizers and awards for best dressed attendees.

There will be a photo runby during the trip.

Tickets prices are upper dome seat ($249), first class ($189), deluxe coach ($139), economy coach ($109) and member coach ($99).

Tickets go on sale on March 28. Railfan event passes ($75) will permit photographers to join the event at LaSalle Street station.

Melvin Retires as NKP 765 Engineer

September 29, 2016

Rich Melvin at the controls of Nickel Plate Road 765 on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September 2010.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society announced on its Facebook page this week that Richard Melvin has retired as an engineer of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

Melvin made his last run at the throttle of the Berkshire-type locomotive on Sunday, Sept. 25 when the steamer pulled its last excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to close out two-weekend appearance.

The FtWRHS, which owns and operates the 765, said that for his final trip, Melvin was joined in the cab by his grandsons.

He has been an engineer of the 765 for 30 years and the Fort Wayne group said that he “was involved in nearly every movement the 765 made in the last three decades and has helped establish an operating department and qualify new engineers in the process.”

Melvin spoke about his experiences in operating the NKP 765 at the 2006 Christmas banquet of the Akron Railroad Club.

Aside from operating the NKP 765, Melvin also was the founder of Hopewell Productions, which sold railroad-related videos.

He has also been a road foreman for the Youngstown operations of the Ohio Central System.

NKP 767 Tickets Sold Out for Upcoming Trips

September 21, 2016
Nickel Plate Road 767 begins a photo runby at Boston Mill on Sept. 18.

Nickel Plate Road 767 begins a photo runby at Boston Mill on Sept. 18.

Tickets for this weekend’s excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad behind Nickel Plate Road No. 767 are sold out.

CVSRTaylor Nickel, communications manager for the CVSR told Trains magazine that the excursions have drawn passengers from throughout the country and not just Ohio.

“[Cuyahoga Valley] is one of the best venues around to exhibit and operate the 765,” said Kelly Lynch, vice president of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the 2-8-4 Berkshire-type locomotive, whose actual roster number is 765.

Lynch said the variety of trips, the railroad, its employees and volunteers, and the opportunities for passengers to experience the engine are incomparable.

“Compared to a mainline steam excursion where we handle all of the logistics, these are almost vacations for us,” he said.

There will be two excursions on Saturday, leaving Rockside Road station at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Sunday trips will leave Akron at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

All excursions last for two hours and include a photo runby at Boston Mill.

Steam Returns to the Valley This Weekend

September 16, 2016

A steam locomotive whistle and the sound of chuffing will return to the Cuyahoga River valley this weekend when Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 pulls excursions out of Rockside Road station in Independence on Saturday and Northside station in Akron on Sunday.

CVSRThe NKP 765 is slated to carry number 767, which it wore earlier this year during festivities to launch the kickoff of development of a rail-theme park in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The three-hour trips on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will depart Rockside Road at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and Northside station at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The trips will be repeated on the same schedule on Sept. 24 from Rockside Road station and on Sept. 25 from Northside station.

The CVSR website on Friday morning showed that all trips from Rockside Road station on Sept. 17 and 24 are sold out.

Tickets remain available for all trips from Akron although some fare classes have sold out. The fare classes range from $23 for basic coach seating to $60 for executive class seating, which is a seat in observation-lounge car Saint Lucie Sound.

Open window coach seating is $25 per person. Other fare options include deluxe seating ($36), first class seating ($38) and dome section seating ($50). Deluxe seating is a place at a table in CVSR dining car Lone Star while first class seating is the lower level of dome car Silver Bronco.

Tickets may be purchased at All trips will feature a photo runby at Boston Mills station.

A special excursion behind NKP 765 will run on Sept. 24 and is modeled after the steam punk event held in 2015 at the Fitzwater maintenance facility and yard.

Attendees of the steam punk 2016 event will ride the train from Rockside Road station to Fitzwater, where they will enjoy an evening of live music, games, and food. Performing will be the band A Train and the Steamers.

There will be an opportunity to photograph NKP 767 and enter a costume contest for the best steam punk inspired clothing.

Tickets are $75 per person and are good for the train ride, three food items from the food vendors and three items from the drink vendors, including beer, wine and soda.

Boarding will begin at Rockside Road station at 7:30 p.m. with an 8 p.m. departure. The return to Rockside will be by train at approximately 11 p.m.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Attendees must be at least age 21.

NKP 765 Steams Into Cleveland

September 14, 2016
Nickel Plate Road 765 crosses the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

Nickel Plate Road 765 crosses the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

This year’s ferry move of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 went via Cleveland instead of through Akron as it has in previous years.

On Tuesday morning social media exploded with the news that NKP 765 would have its ferry move that day. The Berkshire-type locomotive operated as 765 and not as 767, the number it reportedly will wear during its time on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I figured on getting a couple shots between Bellevue and Cleveland, going for quality not quantity.

I went to Vermilion where I met up with Todd Vander Sluis and Alex Bruchec. As we were talking ,NS train 20E went by but none of us lifted a camera to take a photo.

It only had the Wabash heritage unit leading so not a big deal right? Ugghh! Well, we didn’t make the same mistake when the ferry move came through an hour later.

I then headed to Brook Park across from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as the light was still good there.

I got it passing the new signals in Brook Park and again from the Interstate 480 overpass as it entered Rockport yard.

NKP 765 was to spend the night at Rockport and the crew call time is 6 a.m. on Wednesday to finish the move to the CVSR.

Norfolk Southern will take it to Campell Road Yard and deliver it to CSX at West Third Street for final delivery to the CVSR.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon 





NKP 767 Deadhead Move is Underway

September 13, 2016

We’ve received information that Nickel Plate Road No. 767, a.k.a., NKP 765, has begun deadhead move to Cleveland from New Haven, Indiana.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns and operates the 2-8-4 Berkshire-type locomotive does not release details about ferry moves.

NKP 765However, a steam locomotive is unlikely to travel very far without being seen, so social media will is abuzz with reports on the whereabouts of the 767.

Reportedly, the 767 will make most of the ferry move in one day. The route of travel will be over the Norfolk Southern mainline from Fort Wayne to Vermilion via Bellevue, and thence over the Chicago Line from Vermilion to  Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

From Rockport Yard the 767 and its support cars will travel on NS tracks to Campbell Road. It will be on CSX tracks via Clark Avenue in order to reach the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Unlike in past years, the NKP 767 will not use the Wheeling & Lake Erie between Bellevue and Akron.

The 767 will be pulling trips on the CVSR on Sept. 17 and 24 from Rockside Road station and on Sept. 18 and 25 from Akron Northside station.

The Rockside Road trips will depart at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., while the Akron trips will leave at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Plans are for the steam train to meet the CVSR Scenic train in Peninsula and to do photo runbys for passengers at Boston Mills station.

All trips are expected to last three hours. Tickets can be purchased at the CVSR website at

What’s in the Numbering of a NKP Steam Locomotive? Mystery, Intrigue and Subterfuge

August 31, 2016
NKP 765

Nickel Plate Road 765 pauses at Canton during a visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. When it returns in September it will be No. 767, a number it once wore as a stationary exhibit.

The visit of Nickel Plate Road 767, a.k.a., NKP 765, to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad next month has been getting attention that the locomotive’s owner has been able to cash in.

“It’s handy when a nod to history can be good programming and also create some buzz. It’s already stimulated more ticket sales for our upcoming trips at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September,” wrote Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society vice president Kelly Lynch on

Recently, the FtWHS renumbered 765 to 767 for ceremonies held at an open house to reveal plans for the Headwaters Junction park that will eventually serve as the home base for the 765.

As part of that, the 765 was given number 767, which it wore during the decade it was on display in Lawton Park in Fort Wayne.

The story of how 765 became 767 and then 765 again goes back to the late 1950s when the NKP was retiring the last of its steam locomotives.

The NKP had 80 2-8-4 Berkshire type locomotives built in the 1940s by Lima Locomotive Works.

No. 767 was chosen to participate in a celebration held Oct. 4, 1955, to mark the completion of a track elevation project through Fort Wayne, Indiana, that resulted in the closure of several street crossings. Its role was to break the ceremonial ribbon across the tracks.

Nearly three years later, No. 767 was stored serviceable, but never returned to service.

Because of its participation in the 1955 ceremony, the City of Fort Wayne asked the NKP to donate the 767 for display in Lawton Park.

Reportedly, East Wayne Roundhouse Foreman, A.H. “Hap” Adang decided that No. 765 was in much better condition than the 767 and to donate it instead.

The 767 had been stored outside and vandalized. The 765, though, had been stored indoors, had been a crew favorite on the Chicago-Fort Wayne run, and was mechanically complete.

Workers renumbered the 765 to 767 and the real 767 was scrapped in 1964. For years no one was the wiser except a handful of NKP employees and any friends they had told about the number swap.

After the FtWRHS was formed in 1972, its member began hearing reports about the number swap that had taken place more than a decade earlier.

As they disassembled the 767, they found parts marked 765. The steam dome also had the manufacturer’s date for the 765. Lynch explained in a TO posting that the 765 never actually operated as No. 767.

Another FtWRHS member posting on TO said the NKP did not change the monthly, annual or Form 4 documents at Cleveland headquarter to match, so when the fake “765” went off to Chicago to be scrapped in 1964, the ICC Form 4s for the real 765 were trashed by the Interstate Commerce Commission

“That was a problem when we got the 765 ready to return to service in 1979,” he wrote. “We then had to have a mechanical engineer reconstruct the documents and certify the boiler calculations to put her back into service.”

He said that monthly inspection reports for the 765 in December 1958 show that for two days it was in stationary service, thus making the 765 the last Berkshire under steam at the Nickel Plate.

Further investigation revealed that there were ways to distinguish the 767 from the 765.

The 767 had been rebuilt after colliding in Fort Wayne with a Wabash passenger train on July 15, 1951.

That accident, which killed four people and injured 13, occurred when the engineer of Wabash train No. 13 mistakenly thought the clear signal at the diamonds for NKP train No. 51 was for his train.

The 767 struck the Wabash train in the buffet car at 10:22 p.m. after the 767 engineer applied his train’s emergency brakes. Both trains derailed.

No. 767 was rebuilt at the Conneaut shops and returned to service. In the process, the 767 received a six-sided number board.

Lynch said that the locomotive placed in Lawton Park had a flat, hand-painted headlight number board. Home address numerals were placed in the “flying” number boards.

The faux 767 was placed in Lawton Park on May 4, 1963. Ten years later it was removed from the park to begin restoration, which was completed in 1979.

The 765 has operated under other numbers on occasion including in 1993 when it ran as Chesapeake & Ohio No. 2765. It made trips in that disguise between Akron and Pittsburgh that August.

The FtWRHS has indicated that the 765 will continue to operate as the 767 for the remainder of 2016.

And that brings us back to a question someone asked recently as to whether the 767 number plate is original. For that matter, is the number plate of the 765 an original.

In his posting on TO, Lynch showed a photograph of the 765 at East Wayne shops in the early 1960s sans its number plate and number boards.

They may have been scrapped in 1964, might be in someone’s basement or one or more of them might still exist.

There is always a little mystery surrounding a restored steam locomotive.