Nickel Plate Road 765 group to take on a NKP Mikado

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Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 No. 624 as it appears in Hammond, Ind. The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society is slated to preserve the locomotive and possibly restore it to operating condition.
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The sight of two gleaming, steaming Nickel Plate Road freight locomotives at one place and one time may become a reality once more.

Kelly Lynch, vice president of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society says that his organization came to an agreement with the city of Hammond, Ind., this week to transfer ownership and move former Nickel Plate Mikado-type No. 624 from Hammond to Fort Wayne.

"Cosmetic restoration is obvious. One of the featured attractions at Headwaters Junction will be 624 with a strong possibility to restore it to operating condition," Lynch says. "It really just boils down to what we discover when we separate the locomotive from the frame."

Headwaters Junction is a multi-million dollar rail-themed entertainment venue the Fort Wayne society's members have proposed to build along a portion of the City of Fort Wayne's riverfront. No. 624 will at least be on display in the facility and be linked closely to it. Lynch says that when crews remove the boiler they'll assess its condition and whether it needs to be replaced as well as get a better look at the frame and firebox.

Eventually, the 2-8-2 freight engine will be returned to its in-service appearance and be available in Fort Wayne for children, families, and historians to see, touch, and explore.

"If it happens to operate, that's even better," Lynch says.

Lynch says a private donor who is not well-known in transportation preservation circles is funding the No. 624 restoration effort, but he declined to name the person. He says additional information about the locomotive will be announced in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: Interview with Kelly Lynch. Nov. 15, 2016, 3:32 p.m. Central time.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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