Press release from the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society:
Fort Wayne’s Historic Steam Locomotive operating fall trips in Ohio and Michigan
Fort Wayne’s historic steam locomotive no. 765 returns to the rails this year in a series of excursions that will see it on display in New Haven, Indiana and operating special passenger excursions in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Akron, Ohio and fall foliage trips out of Owosso, Michigan.
Before leaving town, the 765 will be fired up and under steam for the public during the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s annual open house August 20-23rd. Located at 15808 Edgerton Road, New Haven the society’s restoration shop will be open to visitors who can explore the locomotive, blow the whistle, and experience the largest steam locomotive operating east of the Mississippi. Hours are 10AM-4PM Friday and Saturday and 12AM-4PM Sunday.
In September, no. 765 will power excursions over the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, a rail line that traverses 51 miles of meadows, wildlife, rivers, ravines, and forests in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Trips will be offered September 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th.
In October, the society will operate two fall foliage roundtrip excursions through central Michigan between Alma and Cadillac on October 16th and Owosso and Alma on October 23rd. These trips will support the Steam Railroading Institute as they begin the rebuilding of their own steam locomotive, Pere Marquette no. 1225.
Built for the Nickel Plate Road in 1944, the 765 spent its operating life as a fast freight and passenger locomotive between Fort Wayne and Chicago and came to rest on display in Fort Wayne’s Lawton Park in 1962 as a monument to “the age of steam” and in honor of the “Elevate the Nickel Plate” campaign which removed over a dozen roadway crossings through downtown in 1955.
The 765 was restored to operation by the society in 1979 and since then has become a roving goodwill ambassador in its career operating passenger excursion trains, running over 53,000 miles and carrying well over a quarter of a million passengers. Following an exhaustive five year rebuild that ended in 2005 ,the locomotive was returned to “as-built” condition and last year over 40,000 people rode behind or experienced the 765 during sixteen days of operation alone. The largest steam locomotive operating east of the Mississippi, the 765 is a roving historic landmark, time machine, and sensory experience all in one.
For more information, contact society secretary Kelly Lynch at (260) 466-2766 or
For excursion and ticketing information, visit.