Nickel Plate Road Locomotive #700 - Cleveland OHPhotographer probably Howard Ameling
In 1934, it was reported that the American Locomotive Company “is building 15 freight engines for the ‘Nickel Plate’ Railroad, in its plant at Schenectady, N.Y… All of these engines are being built with a PWA loan to the Nickel Plate” (Times Union).
“Nickel Plate,” or “Nickel Plate Road,” were commonly used names for the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The railroad company “served parts of the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri” (Wikipedia).
The 15 PWA-financed Nickel Plate Road engines were steam-driven Berkshire locomotives, numbered 700-714. No. 700 “made its first revenue trip between Bellevue, OH, and Frankfort, IN” on September 6, 1934 (The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc.).
Old #700 was scrapped sometime between 1957 and 1961, but its whistle was saved and put on its offspring, Nickel Plate Road 765, which is on display at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Indiana (engine 765 is also a Berkshire locomotive, was built in 1944, but was not financed through PWA).
Like most or all of the New Deal-funded locomotives and trains, Nickel Plate Road 700 and her Berkshire siblings and offspring are legendary in the train enthusiast community: “Engineers as well as railfans loved the 700-series Berkshires for their looks, speed, power, and wonderful sound. As one engineer recalled, ‘It was a thrill to operate them’” (MTH Electric Trains).
“PWA Loans Spur Locomotive Sales,” Times Union (Brooklyn, New York), March 9, 1934, p. 10.
“Nickel Plate Road,” Wikipedia (accessed April 10, 2022).
“New York, Chicago & St Louis 2-8-4 ‘Berkshire’ Locomotives in the USA,” Steam Locomotive dot Com (accessed April 10, 2022).
Facebook entry by The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc., providing key details on the Nickel Plate Road 700 locomotive (accessed April 10, 2022).
“Surviving NKP Steam Locomotives,” The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc. (accessed April 10, 2022).
“Surviving NHP Buildings & Structures,” The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc. (accessed April 10, 2022).
Web page on the Berkshire locomotives, by MTH Electric Trains (accessed April 10, 2022).
“Nickel Plate Road,” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Case Western Reserve University (accessed April 10, 2022).
“Nickel Plate Road Steam Locomotive No. 765,” Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. (accessed April 10, 2022).
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on April 12, 2022.
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