Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 #765 took to Norfolk Southern’s former Wabash mainline from Fort Wayne to St. Louis via Decatur, Illinois in September 2012 to handle a series of employee appreciation specials. With four camera crews on the job, this is the most comprehensive coverage of this trip. We start as #765 leaves the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society shop at New Haven, Indiana, for the short run to East Wayne Yard. This move includes some of the best pacing footage you are likely to see.
From there, we take a look back to the old Southern and Norfolk Southern steam program with images of many of the locomotives that pulled excursions in the sixties through the nineties. This context shows why Norfolk Southern’s current steam operations are such a big deal; and so unexpected. From there, #765 takes to the mainline for the deadhead run to St. Louis with Norfolk Southern’s Wabash and Illinois Terminal heritage units in the consist. In St. Louis, the train operated with #765 at one end of the train and the heritage units at the other end. After the employee trips, we see the deadhead move as #765 leaves St. Louis for Fort Wayne.