Scenic USA - Indiana

Nickle Plate Road #765

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Nickle Plate Locomotive - North Judson, Indiana

Photos by Chris Muller
Chris Muller's Nickel Plate Gallery

   The pride of the fleet, this Hoosier Valley locomotive is caught pouring on the coal over Indiana's Kankakee River. Returning to service on Memorial Day weekend in 2009, the Nickel Plate Berkshire powered an excursion train from its home, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, to La Crosse, Indiana. One of only 20 remaining steam locomotive of this class of Berkshires, the #765 is well known for its superpower design. Looking to improve on speed and power, the Lima Locomotive Works soon discovered its new design created problems in keeping up steam and wheel slippage. Nickle Plate Locomotive 765 - LaCrosse, Indiana Their answer was a larger firebox. The additional weigh required another set of wheels, pushing the 2-8-2 Mikado class to a 2-8-4 wheel arrangement. After a few test runs through the Berkshire Hills, this new class of locomotive was dubbed the Berkshire.
   This 400 ton, 65 year old steam engine spent only 13 years of service out of the Fort Wayne depot. Modern diesel powered locomotives pushed the #765 off the tracks to a static display in Lawton Park. Catching the interest of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, the Nickel Plate #765 became the focus of a restoration project. Now the Nickel Plate Road 765 is back in service, high-stepping through the Hoosier Valley.

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