Historic train rolls through Portsmouth

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

August 6, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

An historic steam engine train made a stop in Portsmouth Monday afternoon. Spectators gathered from around the area to catch a glimpse and take photos of the rare occasion. Wayne York, Excursion Manager for the Fort Wayne Historical Society said Norfolk and Southern Railroad, is celebrating their 30th anniversary.

“To celebrate their 30th anniversary they are offering employee appreciation excursions,” York said.

He said the first weekend of the excursion was in Bellview, Ohio, the train then traveled to Toledo, Ohio. He said the train was just in Williamson, W.Va. York said the 68-year-old steam locomotive passed through Portsmouth on it’s way to Columbus, Ohio, where it would spend Monday night.

“The train stopped in Portsmouth to make a brief servicing stop to grease the rods, oil some other parts that needed it and change crews,” York said.

He said the train is equipped with an original Norfolk and Western steam locomotive whistle.

“The locomotive itself is from the Nickel Plate Road, and was built three months after D-Day and ran until 1958 when it was retired. It sat in a city park in Fort Wayne for 15 or 20 years. An organization formed, Fort Wayne Historical Society Inc.”

York is one of the founding members of the organization.

“This is a rare event that happened in Portsmouth today. There is only five steam locomotives of this size in the United States. The others are all west of the Mississippi River,” York said.

He said the train will travel to Bucyrus, Ohio, then to Crestline, Ohio, and proceed to Pittsburgh, Penn. For more information about the Fort Wayne Historical Society Inc., visit them online at http://fortwaynerailroad.org.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.