A Twenty-First Century Survivor
A little history and some great stories from Rich Melvin, the 765's engineer
By Richard Melvin.
Color laminated hardcover, 11x8.5" horizontal format, 200+ images, 194 pages. 2020.
"Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765 is one of the most active steam locomotives running today. Capable of speeds up to 80 mph and developing 4,500 horsepower, this 404-ton monster is an impressive machine.
"Owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, 765 has pulled special excursion trains all over the eastern United States. Beginning back in 1980, she has today provided over 300,000 people with the unique experience of riding behind a steam-powered passenger train. 765 pulled the famous "New River Trains" through the New River Gorge for many years. At thirty-four cars, these were the longest and heaviest passenger trains ever pulled by a steam locomotive.
"765 has also run around the world-famous Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania. Rich Melvin tells the story of the first steam locomotive on the curve in thirty-five years, as he ran the locomotive up the grade and around the curve with the CEO of the railroad on board
"This 192-page book tells about the engine's twenty-first century overhaul back to like-new specs, and also contains many stories from Rich's years on the 765's crew. There are over 200 photos in this book, many never before published.
"Author Rich Melvin served as 765's Operations Manager and Engineer for thirty-four years. In this book Rich tells some great stories and shares a few personal thoughts from his long career as NKP 765's engineer."
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Evolution of the Breed
Chapter 2 - The Engines That Saved A Railroad
Chapter 3 - First 56, Engine 758
Chapter 4 - The 765's First Career
Chapter 5 - The Born Again 700
Chapter 6 - "Papa" Joe
Chapter 7 - The Gentleman from Peoria
Chapter 8 - Our Big Chance
Chapter 9 - 765's Second Career Begins
Chapter 10 - Mr. Dispatcher, Take A Bow
Chapter 11 - Lima Super Power At Its Best!
Chapter 12 - The Lewis Tunnel Incident
Chapter 13 - A Bad Case of "Get-Home-Itis" Disease
Chapter 14 - A Very Special Convention
Chapter 15 - Masquerading on the C&O
Chapter 16 - A Twenty-First Century Steam Locomotive Overhaul
Chapter 17 - A Norfolk Southern Celebration
Chapter 18 - Steam...on Horseshoe Curve!
Chapter 19 - Steam on Horseshoe Curve - Again!
Chapter 20 - Photo Freights and Magazines
Chapter 21 - Step Into My Office, Please
Chapter 22 - The Future...and The Past