NEW HAVEN, INDIANA – Following five years of restoration work, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s volunteers have successfully restarted the prime mover engine of historic Nickel Plate Road diesel locomotive no. 358 and have launched a matching fundraiser to raise $20,000 in order to complete the effort.
Donations will be matched from now until August 21st. As an added incentive, one donor of $358 or more will win a day-long cab ride on Nickel Plate Road no. 765 during an all-day steam excursion on October 1st. Two donors of $35.00 or more will be entered to win tickets on board the same excursion.
Donations can be made online at fwrhs.org/donate or by mail at
PO Box 11017
Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46855
“This vintage Electro-Motive diesel is poised to start a new life as a railroad tourist attraction, and over 8,000 volunteer hours have been contributed to breathing life into the machine,” stated W.D. Miller, Manager of Project 358. “This restoration has been supported by so many people from across the country, and we’re hopeful that railroad and historic diesel fans will help us reach this important milestone.”
Plans call for the 358 to be restored to its original, as-built 1957 appearance with the Nickel Plate’s characteristic black and imitation gold striping. The locomotive will eventually enter rail tourism service as part of the Indiana Rail Experience and become an educational resource in excursion and exhibition service with Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765.
“Railroad technology is always advancing, and we really have a unique opportunity to tell the story of how the railroads evolved from steam locomotives to modern internal combustion engines and the cultural and technological changes that occurred because of it,” explained Miller. “This project has already afforded several of our members the opportunity to develop critical mechanical skills and experience, and in the future, will give our guests hands-on experiences that bring them closer to this great history and important industry.”
Project 358 has been previously supported with grants and donations from Steel Dynamics, Inc., the Nickel Plate Historical & Technical Society, Inc., Norfolk Southern, and Progress Rail, Inc.