Posts Tagged ‘NKP Berkshire steam locomotives’

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.

Sunday with NKP 765 in Bellevue

October 5, 2021

This past Sunday I was at the Berkshires in Bellevue event with my brother-in-law Karl West, his son (my nephew) Owen, and Jeff Troutman.

What had been forecast as an all-day rain turned out party cloudy and some sun the whole time we were there.

We had four tickets to ride in the cupola in Nickel Plate caboose 783 on the 1 p.m. shuttle behind with NKP 2-8-4 No. 765.

On an adjacent track on static display was NKP Berkshire-type No. 757, which I photographed from the caboose cupola.

I had two tickets for the 2 p.m. NKP 765 cab ride which I shared with Owen. We both enjoyed the experience.

After our shuttle excursions we visited the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum. Shown are images made from the cab of former Wabash F7 No. 671 and former NKP GP30 No. 900.

 It’s great to have some fantastic railroad museums that far from home.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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.

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.

NKP 759 in Conneaut

July 12, 2020

Saturday was the birthday of day is Ross Rowland, who was in charge of restoring Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759.

Bob Farkas dug out these photographs to help mark the occasion.

It is Sept. 8, 1968, in Conneaut and these images were made with a twin lens reflex camera.

NKP 759 is eastbound crossing the trestle of the former NKP mainline over Conneaut Creek.

Bob reports who does not know who the two photographers who are in front of him are.

Presented is a full frame scene and a cropped version.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Whole Lotta Heritage Going By

May 23, 2020

This was one of those days when a cloudy sky was a benefit to photography.

Had it been sunny much of the detail of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 would have been lost in the shadows.

The Berkshire-type locomotives is steaming through Alliance on May 30, 2013.

Note that trailing it are the Pennsylvania Railroad and Conrail heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Sunday Salute to NKP 765

May 17, 2020

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is based in New Haven, Indiana, but we see it so often in Northeast Ohio that it’s easy to think it belongs here.

It was built in Lima, Ohio, but that is in the western part of the state.

Most of the 765’s recent appearances in Northeast Ohio are been due to its operating on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

With the CVSR shut down through the end of September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems unlikely the 765 will be making a return to the area this year.

But maybe it will in 2021. Until steam returns to the valley we’ve got a ton of memories and photographs with which to remember the Berkshire.

In the top image, the 765 is southbound in Canton on Sept. 17, 2010, on one of its total track tour excursions.

The middle image was made in Peninsula on Sept. 24, 2011. Although this photograph was created in color it was converted to black and white.
Paul Woodring and Bob Farkas traveled to Medina to get the 765 on a ferry move eastbound on the Wheeling & Lake Erie on Sept. 9, 2010, as shown in the bottom image.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

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.