Fort Wayne’s engine will have a summer workout in excess of 3,000 miles and an appetite for its weight in coal. A test fire last week and inspection by Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and the FRA have readied the engine for the season.
Below are some news briefs from the engine’s owners, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society:
- FWRHS has posted the 765′s entire 2012 schedule, including deadhead dates. There is talk of the engine stopping at Horseshoe Curve on August 20th for a photo opportunity.
- NKP heritage unit no. 8100 will accompany the locomotive for the season, and no. 1070 of Wabash colors will travel with the engine to St. Louis. No. 8100 is reportedly on its way to Fort Wayne now.
- No. 765 will carry whistles from each fallen flag railroad or territory she runs on, including the New York Central (Toledo), Pennsylvania Railroad (Harrisburg, Pittsburgh), Norfolk & Western (Williamson, WV) and Wabash (St. Louis.)
- No. 765 has been outfitted with brand new cab signals and refitted with an MU box, though the railroad will likely keep a crew assigned to the trailing unit.
- The tool car no. 701 will be named the “Glenn E. Brendel” in honor of the organization’s founding member who passed away February, 2011.
- The FWRHS has a few more surprises and offerings in store based on their website.
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has established a new way to keep its members and the general public informed of their preservation efforts by digitally adding to it’s quarterly printed newsletter Short Lines, including details regarding the task of bringing restored Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 steam locomotive no. 765 back into to the business of public excursions and exhibition,
In the Short Lines – Second Section, board members and volunteers upload shop reports, web updates, essays, and related musings. Recent updates include an excerpt from an operations progress report regarding passenger excursions:
“Negotiations for a stay within the immediate region are being negotiated so that the 765 may perform a series of out and back trips allowing us to share our magnificent machine with the public at large, refresh our crew, and equally important: satisfy our debt reduction.
It is so important that this and other operations currently being sought out are a success. Without these excursions, our reputation and ability to take on other restoration projects is severely diminished.”
Last year the the FWRHS was asked to postpone their scheduled operations at the request of the railroad that was hosting them days before an announcement was to be made.
With the 2005 rebuild of the No. 765 completed, the crew is without a doubt ready to hit the road again in a region that has largely been devoid of mainline steam since 1993. No. 765 will be fired up for the FWRHS Annual Open House August 16th & 17th.