Harry Cupper’s Steam Engine of the Week: Nickelplate Road No. 765

By | April 21, 2015

This week in celebration of the Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program’s 2015 scheduling announcement. #RestoreTheMagic takes a look at Nickelplate Road No. 765.


765 brings to life the opening lines of the Magic Railroad Director’s Cut. “I believe that most folks understand that on a train journey, great adventure may be waiting right around the corner. and that long after the sound of a train whistle has vanished, its romance will remain in every human heart — whatever the age, whatever the time. “


This large and powerful 2-8-4 “Berkshire” was built in 1944. She is a high-stepping fast freight locomotive. The Berkshire is steam “super power” equipt with a four-wheel trailing truck allowing for a much larger firebox, eight relatively high drivers, and two wheels leading for stability, The New York, Chicago, and St. Louis or “Nickelplate Road” had a large number of the locomotives which offered power at speed.


765’s driving wheels.


765 was taken out of service in 1958 and stored at the East Wayne roundhouse in New Haven, IN until 1963. She was then donated to the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana and renumbered 767. She sat on display in Lawton Park rusting into a sad engine. The Fort Wayne Historical Society formed in 1972 to preserve and restore 765. In 1979 after five years of work 765 at last moved under her own power again. 765 became particularly famous for pull the New River Gorge Trains in West Virginia.


Berkshires like 765 and 1225 seen in the back capture the true quintessential look of the America Steam Engine.


In 1993 the engine went in for overall and in 2005 No 765 returned for her second excursion career better than ever. 765 has traveled all over the eastern U.S. totally over 50,000 mile. To see if you can catch her visit http://fortwaynerailroad.org/

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