Nickel Plate Road 765 operator to offer 'Joliet Rocket' tickets in May

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Nickel Plate Road No. 765 inches closer to the platforms at Metra's LaSalle Street Station in Chicago on June 17, 2017, as it leads the Joliet Rocket. Organizers say they expect to open ticket sales for a similar September 2018 trip in May.
TRAINS: S. Sweeney
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Following Amtrak’s announcement in March concerning charter trips and passenger cars, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society made the decision to delay ticket sales for The Joliet Rocket in order to reassess and reconfirm the cars planned for the event.

As of this writing, it is the goal of the society to finalize the consist for The Joliet Rocket by May 1 and open ticket sales within 30 days.

“While the delay in ticket sales is unfortunate, it’s our priority to make sure our customers have a seamless experience throughout the entirety of our event – from the ticketing process through the trip itself,” says Kelly Lynch, society vice president. “In light of the new policy, we needed to guarantee the availability of the equipment to the best of our ability, because in most cases the cars themselves are as unique as the steam locomotive.”

While the September 15 and 16 trips are not Amtrak events, the privately owned passenger cars that commonly operate in excursion service have been traditionally stored and transported by Amtrak at cost. New restrictions on the transportation of private cars currently limit where many are stored or how they are delivered to venues around the country.

In 2017, more than 2,500 people enjoyed 2017’s four round-trip excursions between Joliet, Ill., and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station. The trips this year will feature an extended layover, improved service, and other amenities.

The society will notify its membership, the public, and subscribers to the event waitlist when this issue has been satisfactorily resolved and ticket sales can progress.

More information is available online.

— A Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society news release. April 11, 2018.
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