Fort Wayne group cancels 765 'Galesburg Zephyr' trips

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Nickel Plate Road No. 765 in the Chicago area on June 12.
Robert Shimer
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society leaders are canceling the June 25 and 26 Galesburg Zephyr excursions due to poor ticket sales.

In a statement released moments ago on the society's website, society President William Otter wrote that the cancellation of the Chicago Union Station to Galesburg, Ill., trips is strictly a business decision.

"We have enjoyed over 44 years of success because we have committed ourselves to providing outstanding experiences for the general public and by treating the operation of the steam locomotive No. 765 like the business that it is," Otter writes of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765. "Ticket sales to date reflect meaningful interest, but have been less than satisfactory."

Otter also writes that typical 765 trips involve months or years of preparation, but that the weekend trips in the Chicago area — the Zephyr and the June 12 Varsity to Janesville, Wis. — were only announced 30 days in advance.

He also says the cancellation does not reflect on the efforts of volunteers and cooperating businesses and railroads. The locomotive and consist are expected to return to Fort Wayne within days of the originally planned excursions later in June.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause for our passengers and supporters," Otter says. "We are confident that with additional lead time and unique promotional opportunities that future planning can afford us, we will return to the Chicagoland area and thrill thousands more with the sights and sounds of the 765 and our historic train."

Otter's statement says ticket holders will receive refunds plus an offer for 10 percent off comparable 765 excursion tickets in the future.

Otter's full statement is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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