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If you go
What: Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s annual open house
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday
Where: 15808 Edgerton Road in New Haven
How much: Free admission; $4 for train rides

Historic train sets 1st public trip from city in 20 years

If you’ve ever dreamed of riding a steam-powered train out of Fort Wayne, this is your chance to channel your inner Casey Jones.

In fact, it’s your first chance in 20 years.

On Oct. 26 and 27, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society will run train excursions from here to Lafayette and back, a journey that’s about 230 miles by car.

Tickets will range from $89 to $119, and there will be 600 to 800 seats available each day, said Kelly Lynch, a railroad society spokesman.

Tickets will go on sale at 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at www.fortwaynerailroad.org, and they could go fast. The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society recently offered excursions in Ohio and Pennsylvania, with tickets for most of the trips selling out in 48 hours.

Riders can choose economy-class or coach-class seats on vintage passenger cars. The trip will include onboard entertainment, lunch and a layover in downtown Lafayette along the Wabash River.

Pulling the train will be steam locomotive No. 765. The restored locomotive’s last public trip out of Fort Wayne was in 1993.

Built in 1944 for the Nickel Plate Railroad, the locomotive ran between Fort Wayne and Chicago and was later displayed here in Lawton Park.

In 1979, volunteers restored it to operating condition. The engine was rebuilt in 2005, and since then, the 765 has been traveling around the country for excursions and as a tourist attraction.

Anyone who wants a close look at the locomotive in action can attend the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s annual open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday at 15808 Edgerton Road in New Haven.

Admission to the open house is free, and train rides on the property cost $4.

aingersoll@jg.net

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