Pentrex presents exciting steam railroading as five of the nation’s most prominent and historic locomotives pull their excursion trains to the 1993 NRHS Convention in Chicago. The inbound Independence Limited, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is powered by four different steam engines on its four-day journey. Ex-Southern locomotive 4501 pulls the Special on day one from Knoxville to Richlands, Virginia. Then the famous Norfolk & Western streamlined class “J” 611 takes over for days two and three on its way to Portsmouth, Ohio, and into Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The last leg of the trip is led by ex-Nickel Plate engines 587 & 765 doubleheading over the former Nickel Plate Railroad mainline from Fort Wayne to Calumet Yard, south of Chicago. The weather is clear and sunny as we watch the locomotives working hard, putting on a perfect show. Meanwhile, the mighty Union Pacific Challenger 3985, on its way to Chicago, is re-routed through Nebraska and Kansas by severe Midwestern floods. The train’s progress through Missouri is endangered several times when rising floodwaters almost reach track level.