By Railfan & Railroad Staff
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Tickets will go on sale starting June 7 for the Indiana Rail Experience, a series of steam excursions behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 765 on the Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company. In May, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society announced it had inked a deal to regularly operate 765 on the 100-mile short line railroad that connects Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. The agreement is expected to give Fort Wayne a place to run for years to come.
Established in 1992, the Indiana Northeastern revitalized the former Wabash and New York Central Railroad lines that had all but been abandoned by the 1990s.
The Indiana Rail Experience is expected to kick off on July 8 and 9 with the Indiana Ice Cream Train, a short excursion out of Angola, Ind., that will depart four times daily. Tickets will start at $15.
On July 8 and 9 and September 22, the Indiana Wine & Spirit Train will be a first-class evening passenger train with wine, whiskey, beer, cigars (in the open car), hors d’oeuvres, and dessert of your choice. Tickets start at $90.
The biggest excursions will come on August 27 and 28. The all-day, 100-mile Tri-State Scenic Steam Excursion will see 765 travel from Edon, Ohio to Hillsdale, Mich. At Hillsdale, passengers will be able to explore the town, take in a local farmers’ market and enjoy lunch at one of the area restaurants.
On September 23, 24 and 25, the Angola American History Train will take passengers to a World War II troop reenactment camp. Passengers are encouraged to dress in their “vintage best” for the trip back in time.
Fort Wayne also plans on hosting a special invitation-only Nickel Plate Road photo charter at some point this fall, featuring 765 and historic EMD diesel locomotives (Fort Wayne owns former NKP SD9 358). People can email email@example.com to join the waitlist.
For more information and tickets, visit www.indianarailexperience.org.