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"Glass City Limited a Reality"

by: Tom Stackhouse - Trip Committee Chairman

          The day was Saturday June 8th 1985, it was 8:30am. We were on the Erie main line aboard the Glass City Limited. I was higher than a kite. No drugs no alcohol, just pure adrenaline. We did it!

With Nickel Plate #765 steam locomotive on the point, we were on our way to Corning. At long last our dream came true. It was a long time coming. My first letter to the Fort Wayne Historical Society was dated July 28th, 1980!

Our successful Glass City Limited trips can be attributed to the following individuals, groups and companies. We thank you all for your help and dedication. You are the people that made the Glass City Limited happen.
I can't thank enough our Society car hosts and excursion conductors who were our first contact with our passengers, The Buffalo Southern Railroad, AC&Y Railroad Equipment Company and the Corning Glass Corporation.

The Sloan Fire Department, the City of Corning Fire Department, our Publicity Committee, the New York & Lake Erie Railroad, Calalpa Falls Corporation, our Trip Committee, Doyle Hose Company #1, Car Restoration Committee, Golden Age Rail Equipment Corporation, Orrville Railroad Heritage Committee, Eagle Canon Passenger Car Company, Buckeye Car Company, the Lakeshore Railway Historical Society, Ted Church, our Ticketing Committee, and our host railroad, Conrail.

To those that I failed to mention, it was unintentional. Thank you everyone, Tom

In our: April/May "Railway Flyer" 1985

by: Ronald Dukarm - "Railway Flyer" Editor

          By now you have received the brochure on our Glass City Limited steam excursion on June 8th and 9th, 1985 being pulled by Nickel Plate steam locomotive #765. Leaving Buffalo Bison yard at 8am and arriving at Corning, New York at 12 noon.

Ticket price includes bus ride to downtown Corning and free admission to the Corning Glass Center.
We will be leaving at 4pm and arriving back in Buffalo at 8pm each day.

Travel the historic Erie Railroad trackage over the Portage Bridge, through Attica, Warsaw and Hornell, through some of the most beautiful scenery in New York State.
First class tickets are $185, for reserved seating and coach $49.00. ($45 if ordered before May 15)

In our June/July “Railway Flyer” 1985 - From the President’s Car…

by: Dave Nowalowski - President of the WNYRHS

          I am so proud to be the President of the Society that brought mainline Steam railroading back to Western New York after a thirty plus year’s absence. The people involved knew when we started it was not going to be an easy task, and problems were always waiting around the next bend. Well we did it, two very successful trips, over 3200 very happy riders, plus sadly, another 500 who were disappointed when the sold out sign went up.

Another first on this trip was our four of Society owned cars operating on a mainline excursion. Hats off to our car committee and their group of skilled volunteers. And my thanks to the trustees, committee heads, and members that were dedicated to making this trip as successful as it was. You looked and conducted yourselves as seasoned professionals.

There are more talented members out there who could get involved in the many club projects we have underway. Remember, I am as near as your phone. Just let me hear where you would like to help.

Till next time, Dave Nowakowski

"A Glance at Railroading History"

June 8th & 9th, 1985

by: Bob Maas, Staff Writter - Olean Times Herald - June 9th, 1985

          BUFFALO, - The curious clustered at road crossings along the Conrail line from Buffalo to Corning and back to Buffalo Saturday for glance at a piece of railroading's historic past behind a retired "Berkshire" steam locomotive.

The hand-waving and cheering of the viewers, who were standing on car tops, holding cameras or holding babies, seemed to make those aboard the 16-car train feel a certain degree of self-importance after they had purchased a $49 ticket to ride this beauty. Noticing the awestruck looks of wonderment on the viewers' faces at the passing of the big, black, smoky, noisy "Iron Horse," made this traveler realized the presence of this magnificent train in our locale, was truly history in the making.

Waving at passing trains is a tradition, like little boys placing a nickel on the track before an approaching train, just to have it smeared into a nice souvenir.

The last time a steam locomotive passed over these woodland roadbeds was more than 30 years ago. If you see one for the first time or if it has been 30 years since you last saw one, you are stirred by the power and grace of the locomotive and by the chill of the lonesome whistle.

This "Berkshire" locomotive #765, built in 1944 and retired from the Nickel Plate Road in Indiana in 1958, is being loaned by The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

According to the trains’ volunteer engineer, Richard Melvin of Struthers, Ohio, the engine is fueled with a capacity of 22 tons of coal and 48,000 gallons of water.

According to Melvin, speed is held 45 mph as its eight member crew from the Midwest, admittedly, is not familiar with the area lines. Roy and Sheila Vaughan drove from their home in Hamburg to ride the excursion, These “railfans” said they ride trains whenever possible. "You can sit and relax or walk up and down the aisles and meet people, or just stand between the cars ," said Sheila.

"Like (fiction writer) Ray Bradbury said, ‘Steam locomotives are the closest thing to witnessing a dinosaur without actually owning one for a pet."

Editors post-script - smph50

Back in the days of Conrail, it was much easier
to organize, insure and run mainline steam excursions.

Locomotives NKP #765, MStP&P #261, N&W 611 and N&W 1218 all made visits to Western New York before the breakup of Conrail in 1998 which ended all steam powered excursions on any mainline. In 2005, #765 came out of the shops in Fort Wayne after a complete rebuild, but it too was relegated to run on home rails for many years.

Then, in 2012 and through 2015, Norfolk Southern initiated its "21st Century Steam Program" and the big "Berk" made its way back to Buffalo after a thirty year absence.

On August 1st and 2nd, 2015, hundreds of people were able to ride behind #765 over the same rails it traveled 30 years ago on the appropriately named "Erie Limited."

#765 traveled thousands of miles as it pulled railfan trips in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Norfolk Southern was so impressed with the dependability of the locomotive and the skill of its crew, that it very seldom ran with a diesel in tow.

This video features a short chase along Erie Street in Lancaster, New York on August 1st, 2015 as the train made its way from Bison yard in Buffalo to Corning, New York.

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