Steam Train 765

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Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 S2-Class Berkshire #765 is one of the largest operating steam locomotives in the world. Based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the locomotive is owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The locomotive was donated to the city in 1955, disguised as Nickel Plate Road 767. The City of Fort Wayne wanted to display locomotive 767 in Lawton Park, however, 767 was in horrible condition and the railroad decided to disguise sister locomotive 765 as the 767 in order to scrap the locomotive which was in much worse condition.

From 1955 to 1974, the 765 sat in Lawton Park, deteriorating badly due to the harsh weather climate of the midwest. In order to save and restore the locomotive, a group of railroad enthusiasts formed the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) in 1972, and started raising funds for restoring the locomotive. In 1974, the 765 was towed out of the park for restoration, and on October 25, 1975, the “767” was returned to its original number and restoration began. Through fundraising efforts, and many hours of volunteer labor, the group succeeded in returning 765 to service on September 1, 1979. The 765 would go on to become one of the most famous excursion locomotives in the world, operating on various class one railroads and other historical societies (such as the Steam Institute in Owosso, MI).

In 2011, the 765 operated on the Steam Railroad Institute in Owosso, Michigan, filling in for sister 2-8-4, the Pere Marquette 1225. The locomotive ran two weekends in a row: one trip to Cadillac and one trip between Owosso and Alma. In this video, 765 is seen running between Owosso and Alma on October 15, 2011. It was an extremely windy day, but nonetheless, railfans still flocked to see the giant beast doing what she does best on that fall day.

In 2012, the 765 was leased by Norfolk Southern Railway, in adjacent to their 30th Anniversary, to haul steam excursion trains on their mainline railroad on the new 21st Century Steam Program. 765 operated with one of Norfolk Southern’s sixteen heritage locomotives, ES44DC #8100, which was painted in special Nickel Plate Road diesel freight scheme for the company’s anniversary. We caught the 2-8-4 running on three excursion trips: Bellevue to Bucyrus, Ohio (July 21 and 22), Toledo to Maumee, Ohio (July 28), and Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (August 20). *On the last trip of 765 in this video, the locomotive climbed the Horseshoe Curve, the first steam locomotive to do so in over twenty five years.

*This video contains the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s 40th Anniversary advertisement, in order to promote the society and the people who make 765 operable. This video is not associated, or filmed in adjacent with the society in any way. This video also features footage of the Nebraska Zephry in Chicago, the South Shore Line streetrunning, and Norfolk Southern’s local train B22, with two High Hood GP38-2 diesels.

*Joint footage of the locomotive was provided by YouTube user:

*Original Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Advertisement:

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