765! A Twenty First Century Survivor

Rich Melvin
Item #83134

Learn more about the 765! Through fascinating on-the-road-stories from Rich Melvin, 765’s Operations Manager and Engineer for 34 years.
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Learn more about one of the most active steam locomotives running today from Rich Melvin, 765’s Operations Manager and Engineer for 34 years. You’ll find a collection of fascinating on-the-road-stories about 765 along with the overhaul back to like-new specs.

Including over 200 photos that have never before been published, this 192 page book provides more detail about this 404-ton monster machine owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The 765 pulled special excursion trains all over the eastern United States, the “New River Trains” through the New River Gorge for many years, and has run around the world-famous Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania. 
Author: Rich Melvin
Pages: 192

If you enjoy steam locomotives, or specifically 2-8-4’s, or even more specifically Nickel Plate Road super steam power, this 192-page book is a treasure chest of pertinent information, facts, figures and worthwhile operational stories of the famous NKP #765 engine.

The intriguing story begins in September of 1944 when the S-2 NKP Berkshire #765, with 64,100 pounds of tractive effort, was out-shopped by Lima Locomotive Works and was immediately put to work in South Lima, Ohio. It found its way on the point of many wartime passenger extras, but the majority of its career was spent operating out of East Wayne Yard on the east side of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. After her last run in June of 1958, the locomotive was stored, but operated again briefly later that year. The engine was then donated to the City of Ft. Wayne for display in Lawton Park, and later the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society took charge of the engine, and raised funds to bring the locomotive back to life.

This book relates the earlier Super Mikado designs from 1922 at Lima, the initial NKP 2-8-4 Class S locomotive Alco order (Nos. 700-714), and the stages that led to locomotive groups S-1, S-2 (#765 was part of this group) and finally the S-3’s, Nos. 770 through 779. You’ll not want to miss the intriguing story of how the #765 was restored for operation, and the first-person, fascinating stories presented by author Rich Melvin, who worked on the #765 crew for 34 years as operations manager and engineer, and operated the #765 more than 75,000 miles on a dozen different railroads. 

The life and times of the NKP #765 is fully documented in text and color and black and white photographs. There’s even a list of the surviving six NKP Berkshires, and where you can go to see them. 

—Don Heimburger, Heimburger House Publishing Co.

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