Audio: “Nickel Plate Railroad” featuring Tom Castaldi. Courtesy of WBNI-Fort Wayne.

“The price we paid for it, it ought to be nickel plated,” said William H. Vanderbilt who purchased the new railroad.  The train was erected in 1944 and operated out of the East Wayne Yard on the eastside of Fort Wayne. In 1963, engine 765 was donated to the city of Fort Wayne because it was the engine that officially opened the elevation of the Nickel Plate Railroad. On May 4th, disguised as 767, it was placed in Lawton Park where it sat on display until 1973 when weather conditions caused its removal. The Berkshire steam engine was completely overhauled back to working conditions by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Inc. (FWRHS). Restoration started in 1975 and ended in 1979 and moved to New Haven; 765 is still in use today.

Photos courtesy of Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, and ARCH Inc.


  • Brad Graber Trains in Ft. Wayne, IPFW, (11/23/2004).
  • Glenn Brendel, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc., Official Souvenir Booklet.