Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum News
Mad River Donates Diesel Components to FWRHS (7/16)
The Ft. Wayne Railroad Historical Society is "excited to announce that the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum has donated a number of critical internal components from their cosmetically restored diesel locomotive to our restoration efforts back home. For details on what this means for Project 358 and our long relationship with Mad River, click here."
Work on New Restoration Building Begins (7/16)
If you've been by the Coach Yard of the museum lately, you may have noticed a little construction project underway. J&F Construction is building a 125' X 70' restoration building on the old Bellevue Farmers Co-op land. This building will have two tracks for the different restoration projects we have planned in the coming years, the first of which will be a big black Berkshire steam locomotive.
Lorenz 757 Prints Now Available! (6/17)
Nationally recognized railroad artist Bob Lorenz has painted a beautiful portrait of Nickel Plate Road No. 757 for the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum. Prints (16" X 20") of this piece are now available for $25. We have them available in our gift shop or online at www.bringback757.org/online-store/. This piece was painted shortly after the locomotive returned to Bellevue in February of 2019.About Bob Lorenz
Bob Lorenz, renowned railroad artist and photographer, is a native of Fremont, Ohio. He attended the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio. He spent fifteen years in the commercial art field and was employed as art director with an advertising sign company. Following this period, Bob ventured into free-lance artwork, specializing in railroads and Americana.
Bob has played a major role in the design of five steam-powered trains. In 1969, he designed the color scheme for the Golden Spike Centennial. He was staff artist for the American Freedom Train, which toured the country in 1975-76. Bob painted the Chessie Steam Special in 1977 and the Chessie Safety Express locomotive #614 in 1980. He later painted the engine for Operation Lifesaver. The ACE 3000 project of American Coal Enterprises was a project in which he was involved in the late 1970s.
Four of his original oil paintings were hung in the Amtrak offices in Washington, D.C. The scenes depicting the use of coal and the interior of Ross E. Rowland's private car, featured in an article in the March 11, 1985 PEOPLE Magazine, are also Bob's work.
Over 50 of Bob's paintings were on display for two years at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in the mid-1990s.
Bob and his wife Bea are now in their 90s and continue to live in Fremont, Ohio. Bob continues to paint at his home studio.
1/8 Scale 757 at Berkday Party (6/17)
We're excited to announce that a special guest will be in attendance for the 75th Berkday Party on August 17th!
Gene Lurwig will be bringing his 1/8 scale 757 from Georgia. This replica is an operational live steamer that is over 14' long and weights 1,140 lbs. Come to the party and see this beautiful machine up against the original locomotive it was modeled after.
Admission for the 75th Berkday Party is available at the museum, by phone at (567) 228-9866, or online at https://bringback757.org/. Space is limited so don't wait!
This is a fundraising event and admission includes a presentation on the 757, BBQ Buffet, Birthday Cake, and cab access to the 757. All proceeds will benefit the restoration and future display of 757.
Spruced Up 757 (6/8)
Today we finished putting on the 757's birthday suit, she doesn't look bad for nearing 75 years young. Come down and see her, we're open daily from 12pm to 4pm.
To learn more and donate to the restoration and display of this locomotive visit https://bringback757.org/.
What's Next for 757?
With the relocation phase of the project complete, we now look ahead to the restoration and display of the locomotive. The 757 has been placed on #1 track in our Coach Yard facing Southwest St., for the short term that's where it will remain. With all the support we've received in the last 18 months to bring the locomotive home, it's important to us that it's accessible for all to enjoy this season.
Our primary focus will be centered on preparing the museum for opening day on May 4th, 2019, little if any work will be preformed on the locomotive during the next few months. As spring arrives and weather conditions improve, preservation and aesthetic work of the locomotive will commence.
Over the last several years, it has become obvious that our museum facilities on the North side of Norfolk Southern's Toledo District mainline have peeked, and future expansion is no longer possible. For this reason, future expansion (including display of 757) will be concentrated on the South side or "Coach Yard" of the museum grounds. We are in the planning stages of a new restoration facility located on the former Bellevue Farmers Co-op parcel that we now have ownership of. This facility would allow us to do the heavy restoration work on 757 indoors.
It has always been our intention to have a protective structure to display the 757 in, future plans call for this to be erected in the Coach Yard as well. We want the flexibility of displaying the locomotive under roof, but also having the ability to move it out in the open for special events.
After successfully reaching our first fundraising goal for the mechanical work on and transportation of 757, we now have $90,000 of fund-raising goal left to go for cosmetic restoration and the construction of a display site. All future contributions to the Bring Back 757 campaign will be directed towards the restoration and the display structure of the 757.
We've made tremendous progress and already accomplished something many thought was impossible, with this last stretch of fundraising to go, we can restore and preserve the 757 for years to come.
Donations can be made at the museum, online at https://bringback757.org/donate/ or by mail at:
Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum
Thank you for helping all of us get the 757 home.
757 Replica Builders Plates For Sale
With the help of Wayne York and Leroy Locomotive Works, we now have these beautiful aluminum builders plates available for sale. These are patterned from the original Lima design with the builders number and date of the 757. The price is $150, and all proceeds go towards bringing back 757. These are available in our gift shop and online at https://bringback757.org/online-store/. Check out other items we have available as well!
Bring Back 757 Donors
Please check out our online donor board. It will be updated monthly.
If you support our project and haven't contributed yet, we'd love to put your name on the donor board as well. Also, your donation is tax deductible and tax season is right around the corner.
Bring Back 757
The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum (MR&NKP) is pleased to announce the creation of an agreement with the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (RRMPA) that would allow Nickel Plate Road Steam Locomotive #757 to return to Bellevue, Ohio. Plans are now underway to relocate the locomotive from Strasburg, PA, to the museum site in Bellevue for static display.
We are very excited to be able to bring the 757 back to Bellevue. The absence of a mainline steam locomotive in our collection has been something we have wanted to correct for a long time. To have the chance to return the 757 to Bellevue is an incredible victory for our organization," said museum President Chris Beamer.
The locomotive is a Berkshire type (2-8-4 wheel arrangement), the staple design that was made famous by the Nickel Plate Road (NKP). It was built by the Lima Locomotive Works in 1944 and was last operated on June 15, 1958. As steam locomotives were retired on the Nickel Plate, several were saved by the railroad as monuments to the towns along the line and donated accordingly. 757 was saved for Bellevue, Ohio, Nickel Plate's largest classification terminal. Unfortunately, at that time, Bellevue did not have a railroad museum and the city was unable to provide and fund a display site. After being stored at Bellevue for several years, the railroad donated the locomotive to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1966.
Ten years after Bellevue lost its steam locomotive, the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum was founded. Since then, the MR&NKP has grown to encompass 50 pieces of equipment, 10 acres of property, five buildings, countless artifacts, and a rail viewing platform. The MR&NKP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is operated and maintained by volunteers with no government assistance. Admission to the museum, fund raising events, and donations are the museum's primary sources of income. The MR&NKP has the most extensive collection of NKP equipment and artifacts of any museum, however owning an actual NKP steam locomotive has eluded the museum since its inception.
In early 2017, the MR&NKP and the RRMPA entered into negotiations to bring 757 back home. Within the past few months, the RRMPA and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has agreed that 757 does not have as strong a connection to Pennsylvania's railroading history as some of their other locomotives and railroad cars, which also require considerable attention. They have made the difficult decision to deaccession 757 from their collection, with the intention of transferring the locomotive to an organization that has a better connection to the locomotive's history and is willing and able to immediately restore it.
The MR&NKP will begin movement preparations as funds permit and will be granted ownership of the locomotive after its removal from the RRMPA site. "The people of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania have been great to work with on this project and toward the common goal of preserving our country's railroad heritage," Beamer added.
This is a rare opportunity and may not be available again. The MR&NKP estimates the relocation, restoration, and preparation of a special exhibit site will cost $250,000. The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum needs your help to bring this iconic locomotive back home to Bellevue. Please visit www.bringback757.org for more information and/or to donate.
For email updates on the project, sign up at http://eepurl.com/cX3tfn.
FOR SALE: History of the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad
STRAP RAIL INTO THE WOODS. MAD RIVER AND LAKE ERIE RAILROAD, "OLD LINE," between Sandusky, Ohio and Tiffin, Ohio via Bellevue. 1825-1860. By C.W.Wise. Illustrated.
Available from Mad River and NKP RR Society. 233 York St. Bellevue, Ohio 44811 or call Ruth at 419-483-6235. Price. $20 plus $4 shipping and handling. Also available in the MR & NKP RR Bellevue Museum gift shop. Drop by and save the shipping cost while enjoying the museum.
Get Your Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum Anthology !
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