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Preserving and Making Railroad History

We own and operate one of the world's last living steam locomotives and are proud caretakers of history that inspires the senses and quickens the pulse.

Our Vision

To provide outstanding, hands-on, educational experiences with Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765.

Our Mission

To preserve, restore, and operate historic railroad equipment and artifacts significant to Northeast Indiana.

Our Story

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. (FWRHS) is an award-winning, 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded in 1972. The organization is powered by over 600 members and 130 volunteers from all over the country.

In 1974, the FWRHS was successful in removing historic Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765 from display in Lawton Part in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1979, the FWRHS became the first all-volunteer, non-profit organization to successfully restore and operate a steam locomotive, writing a significant chapter in the early days of the country’s rail preservation movement.

Since 1980, the FWRHS has hosted and administered passenger train excursions, private charters, public exhibitions, and education outreach activities with the 765 and a variety of other vintage railroad equipment throughout the Midwest.

The locomotive and its train continue to serve as an uncommon cultural attraction with worldwide appeal, offering tourists, passengers, and supporters from all 50 states and numerous countries the opportunity to relive a bygone era of innovation in American history.

The FWRHS holds regular work sessions and open houses at its restoration facility in New Haven, Indiana during the year and is poised to become a major player in regional development with the creation of the Indiana Rail Experience.

Ex Officio Managers

Joe Knapke, President
Kelly Lynch, Vice President
Brian Christophel, Treasurer
Rich Brinkley, Secretary
Steve Winicker, Mechanical Manager
Zach Hall, Operations Manager
Bill Otter, Merchandise Manager
William D. Miller, Director
Wayne York, Founding Director

Ex Officio Managers

Drew Brackin, Facility and Projects Manager
Bill Martz, Passenger Car Maintenance Manager
Jerrad Bennett, Passenger Car Mechanical Manager
Rick Popp, Merchandise Manager

Safety Committee

Zach Hall, Joe Knapke, Drew Brackin, Grant Geist, Bob Ellis

Membership Committee

Kelly Lynch, Chris Homco, Samantha Krunamaker, Brad Morocco

Donor Stewardship Committee

Kelly Lynch, Brian Smith, Matt Viar