Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum News


Bring Back 757

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 for more information and/or to donate.

For email updates on the project, sign up at

Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum
233 York St.
Bellevue, OH 44811
Media Contact: VP Dwayne Fuehring
(419) 483-2222



Help Bring Back 757 AND Win a FREE Throttle Time Session Aboard the FWRHS #765 (8/17)

Between now and September 7, donors who contribute $10.00 will be entered to win a FREE Throttle Time session aboard the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's very own 765! Donations must be made online at or in person at our museum, and each additional $10.00 donation will be another entry to win a chance to run a live steam locomotive. We'll announce the winner on September 9. For all the details on eligibility and more information visit:

Throttle Time


Help Bring Back 757 with a T-shirt Purchase (8/14)

Through Custom Ink, we're offering online T-shirt sales for our supporters. Our current design is available for sale now, with a variety of designs to be offered in the future. The current T-Shirt campaign will be active until September 1st, 2017. Expect delivery on or around September 20th, 2017. These shirts are available in 3 colors (Black, Charcoal, and Indigo Blue), from sizes YXS to XXXL. All proceeds from the T-shirts will go directly to bringing back Nickel Plate Road 757 to the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

Similar designs will be offered in our Trackside Gift Store at the museum soon.

To order yours online, please visit

757 T-shirt 757 T-shirt 757 T-shirt

Bring Back 757 Podcast (8/15)

Want to learn more about the BRING BACK 757 campaign?

Vice President Dwayne Fuehring was a guest on The Roundhouse Podcast a couple weeks ago and discussed the effort with host Nick Ozorak. Listen to the podcast at

In Memoriam - Stephen C. Tobias (8/11)

Steven C. Tobias

Earlier this week we were saddened to learn about the passing of Stephen C. Tobias. An Honorary Lifetime Member of our museum, Tobias was known as a great railroader by his peers. A 40-year veteran of Norfolk Southern, he achieved an unparalleled legacy for employee safety and operational efficiency. Tobias and Billy Joe Hoops were the top supervision in Bellevue Terminal when our museum opened in 1976. Both these men had a large part in our existence in the form of cooperation and participation on behalf of the Norfolk & Western Railway. Mr. Tobias last visited the museum on June 21, 2008 when he participated in the dedication of our museum to the late William H. Fuehring. We'd like to offer our sincere condolences to the Tobias family. An article about Mr. Tobias' passing was recently published in Railway Age.


Fencing Update (8/6)

With the campaign, our fence project hasn't had a lot of attention. It's about 90% complete and looking great. Stop in and see us. We're open from 12:00pm to 4:00pm every day.

New Fencing


Shining Up the Equipment (7/29)

Today's agenda included putting a little elbow work into the NKP bay window caboose and the B&O Alco. After a few hours we had them shined up like a new penny.

423 Before
423 After

423 Before
423 After


New Museum YouTube Channel!

We have started a YouTube channel for the museum videos. This is the only video uploaded at this point. It's just a brief slide show of the museum. More to come later. Thanks for watching!


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 !


The Anthology is a book written about the railroad history of Bellevue and Northern Ohio. It documents the making of the Mad River and NKP Railroad Society Museum. It is a collection of stories about the hard work and dedication of the people, who made the museum one of the finest railroad museums in the United States. Click here for more information.

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