Railroad Passenger Excursions this Weekend

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Steam locomotive No. 765, described by the Fort Wayne Historical Society as “world famous,” will carry passengers on the Ashtabula Special from the Covelli Centre to Ashtabula and back this Saturday and Sunday on Norfolk Southern tracks.

The train, to leave Youngstown at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. both days, will pull 18 cars built in the 1940s and 1950s.

Seats in the standard and deluxe cars are sold out. Seats remain on both runs only for first-class and dome car passengers, the ticket office said Tuesday. Prices are $199 for first-class, $299 for the dome car and include restaurant meals during the two-hour layover in Lafayette in Ashtabula County.

The rides will be the first steam excursions to depart Youngstown since 1986 when No. 765 carried passengers on a trip between Youngstown and Pittsburgh, the society said.

“We are thrilled to team up with Norfolk Southern again to offer people unique and exciting opportunities to enjoy the 765,” said Bill Otter, society president, in a statement.

Since 2012, No. 765 has led the 21st Century Steam program with great success, operating sold-out trips many times throughout the Midwest, society spokesman Kelly Lynch says. The first public trip the society offered out of Fort Wayne in over 20 years sold out less than two hours.

Locomotive No. 765, built in 1944 for the Nickel Plate Road, was retired in 1958 and put on display in Lawton Park in Indianapolis to commemorate the elevation of the railroad through downtown, Lynch says.

In 1974, the locomotive was removed from the park and by 1979 had been restored to operating condition, Lynch continues.

The initial rehabilitation effort was the first all-volunteer effort in the world to successfully restore and operate a mainline steam locomotive. Since then, No. 765 has operated in excursion and public exhibition service as an ambassador for the city of Fort Wayne and the railroad industry at large.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.