An Allen County nonprofit group is teaming up with the operator of 105 miles of area rail with hopes of growing the local tourism economy.
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. and the Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company on Thursday announced the formation of The Indiana Rail Experience, a partnership focused on train trips, educational programs, and special events utilizing historic trains and the rail company’s track across a three-state area.
The announcement notes:
Events will include a wide array of excursions with Nickel Plate Road no. 765, a 1940s-era steam locomotive, which has become an international cultural attraction since being restored to operating condition in 1979. In addition to the 765, other historic locomotives and classic railroad passenger cars will provide unique offerings for children, families, and adults between July and October. A complete schedule and tickets will be available later in May and June.
“Our railroad has helped drive the economy of this region since it was started to support local farmers,” said Gale Shultz, President of the Indiana Northeastern. “We’re hoping to not only shine a spotlight on our community with the popularity of the 765, but let the world know that the region and the railroad are open for business.”
Indiana Northeastern Railroad began operations in 1992, with the consolidation of the former Pigeon River Railroad and Hillsdale County Railway. The railroad hauls commodities that include agricultural products, minerals and construction materials.
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society will use the partnership to expand an existing schedule of events and excursions.
“This multi-year agreement will allow us to offer experiences to our friends and neighbors like never before,” said Kelly Lynch, Vice President of the Fort Wayne Railroad.
The announcement indicates projects will be launched by the end of the year.