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Nickel Plate Railroad 765 Trip Fort Wayne to Lafayette and Return 10/26/2013

by Chris Guenzler

As he did not attend the National Railway Historical Society convention in Alaska, Bob Alkire wanted to do this trip, so the day the tickets went on sale he got three, one for him, one for me and the other for Chris Parker. We all bought airline flights to O'Hare, Bob reserved the rental car and I booked Chris and I two nights at the Fort Wayne Motel 6. With that all set, all I had to do was live, go to Alaska which I did and then substituted for Santa Ana Unified School District up to the day of this trip. I had a job interview, landed the job but still did not know to which school I had been assigned.

Nickel Plate Railroad 765 History

Nickel Plate Railroad 2-8-4 765 was built by Lima Locomotive Works in 1944 and assigned to Bellevue, Ohio where it was used on fast freights. After the World War II, it worked out of the Fort Wayne Classification Yard. The last run of the engine was on June 14, 1958. It was then donated to the City of Fort Wayne and placed in Lawton Park. In 1972 the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society was formed and the locomotive was towed to a shop in New Haven, Indiana. The group returned the locomotive to service on September 1, 1979. After years in excursion service in 1993, the locomotive was put back in the New Haven Shop to overhaul her running gear but it was then decided to perform a complete rebuilding. It steamed back to life in October 2005 and has been used in excursion service since.

Heading to Chicago 10/25/2013

I arose early and Winston picked me up for my United Airlines Flight 682 from Orange County to Chicago. I went through security then waited for my flight, boarded and read Railfan and Railroad Magazine and did Sudoku Puzzles on that flight and reached Chicago in one piece. I met Chris Parker at Gate K9, then Bob Alkire at Gate L1, after which we obtained the rental car to start this trip which was slow due to an accident just after the Mannheim Road exit.

The Drive to Fort Wayne 10/25/2013

Bob picked up the rental car and we fought through that accident traffic to reach the Tri-State Tollway which we took to get into Indiana, then Interstate 65 to US 30 which we took all the way to Fort Wayne. We stopped in Valparaiso with most of the town in Halloween costumes. We found Calumet Avenue which took us to our stop here.

The Grand Trunk station built in 1912. After that we stopped at a KFC for dinner before driving the rest of the way to Fort Wayne where we checked into the Motel 6 for the next two nights.

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