Nickel Plate No. 765, Southern No. 4501 to polish NS rails in 2015

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No. 4501 on a trip in 2014.
Freddy Frank
NORFOLK, Va. – In addition to Norfolk & Western No. 611 hitting the main line, Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 will pull a dozen Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam trips in 2015 while Southern Railway 2-8-2 No. 4501 will return to the main line for the first time since 1994.

No. 4501 will visit Tennessee and Georgia, while No. 765 will reach Scranton, Pa., and the National Park Service’s Steamtown site for the first time. Excursions begin with No. 611 on June 6 and go through Oct. 11 with a No. 4501 trip in north Georgia.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum 2-8-2 No. 4501 will be on the point of a Bristol-Bulls Gap, Tenn., trip June 27 and a Bristol-Radford, Va., trip on June 28. No. 4501 pulls trips from the Chattanooga-based museum to Cleveland, Tenn., during the museum’s annual festival the weekend of Sept. 12-13. It will pull Macon-Tennille, Ga., trips the weekend of Oct. 3-4.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s 2-8-4 No. 765’s first outing of the year is a set of Fort Wayne-Lafayette round trips the weekend of July 18. The Berk moves to Youngstown, Ohio for excursions to Ashtabula, Ohio the weekend of July 25, and to Buffalo, N.Y., for outings to Corning, N.Y. Then it’s off to Allentown, Pa., for Pittston, Pa. trips the weekend of Aug. 8, and Scranton-Binghamton, N.Y. trips the weekend of Aug. 15. The engine lays over at Steamtown for a month before pulling Scranton-Nicolson push-pull trips the weekend of Sept. 12 as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Nicholson Viaduct. No. 765 trips are combined NS employee and public trips. No. 765 spokesman Kelly Lynch says the organization is exploring additional operations for the engine that has visited Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley Railroad in recent years.

Southern No. 4501 concludes the operations the weekend of Oct. 10 with Atlanta-Toccoa, Ga., round trips, running on the Southern Railway main line and across Wells Viaduct. No. 4501 will also operate public trips on the museum railroad and on its north Georiga shortline partner to Summerville, Ga.

Additional information including times, ticket prices, accommodations, boarding sites, and other details about each trip will be available at on May 1. Ticket sales will start at 6 p.m. on May 13. Tickets for these excursions will be available for purchase online and over the phone by calling 1-888-718-4253.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is selling tickets for the June trips, which start at $80, online at Tickets for the September and October trips will be offered for sale at a later date.
No. 765 at Blakeslee, Ohio, in 2014.
Cass Telles

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