Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum News
New Track to Restoration Building Laid (12/21)
Today our volunteers assembled over 165' of track to the new restoration building. We're planning to have both tracks completed by April. Even though we're closed for the season, the work never stops.
Thanks to everyone that joined us for the Holiday Train this year. Over 2,300 happy travelers rode our train this year. This concludes all our public events for 2019. See you again in 2020. Have a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.
New Restoration Building Track Construction Underway (12/5)
The Holiday Train isn't the only thing going on around the museum lately. Our friends at JB & Sons Contracting LLC have been helping us with excavation so track installation in our new restoration building can begin.
Bob Lorenz, Long Time Railroad Artist, Passes (11/19)
Today, we learned of the recent passing of Bob Lorenz, the renowned railroad artist. He was 94. Bob's artwork depicts some of the most famous images in railroad history. Bob was also instrumental in the artwork and design of the Golden Spike Centennial, the American Freedom Train, and the Chessie Steam Specials.
Shortly after the 757 arrived in Bellevue, Bob painted an image of the locomotive to use during our fundraising campaign. Pictured below is Bob and his wife Bea with the 757 in September along with his original painting. Prints of this painting are still available at https://bringback757.org/.
We'd like to offer our condolences to Bea and the rest of the Lorenz family.
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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