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City and Headwaters Junction strike deal, partnership

By Headwaters Junction, News, Uncategorized

July 13, 2020, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – Statement from the Headwaters Junction Board of Directors regarding the Redevelopment Commission’s vote approving the City of Fort Wayne’s purchase of Headwaters Junction’s interest in the Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way property:

“As we have from the beginning, we are proud to partner with the City as they continue their efforts to make Fort Wayne a world-class place to live, work and play. We believe this agreement with the City is the right step for Fort Wayne and its ongoing efforts to transform our riverfront into an amazing destination for residents and visitors alike.

At the same time, we are excited about what the future holds for Headwaters Junction. While its concept as a recreated rail yard, roundhouse and tourist railroad is rooted in our history, its vision looks confidently to the future. It will bring a mixed-use regional destination offering unique programs, events, connectivity and truly memorable experiences, while celebrating our city’s local culture and identity.

We are grateful to the City for its continued support of Headwaters Junction, and we look forward to working with its Community Development team to set the foundation for the City’s partnership and contribution to creating a regional destination entirely unique to Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana.”

The City of Fort Wayne also released a statement:

“Advancing Riverfront Fort Wayne helps us continue to improve the quality of place that so many employers are looking for,” said Townsend. “I want to thank the Headwaters Junction Board of Directors for transferring the purchase agreement to the Redevelopment Commission and I look forward to working with them as they bring their vision of creating a vibrant regional destination to life.”

WANE 15 reports:

“We talked through the plans and future of the riverfront,” Redevelopment Director Nancy Townsend told the commission about her conversations with the railroad preservation group. “Headwaters Junction still has plans and will still occur.”

While Monday’s vote likely means the end of the project’s riverfront plans, WANE 15 has learned a new location in the downtown area has been discussed between Headwaters Junction and city leaders. The specific location has not yet been publicly announced.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re not doing it alone,” Headwaters Junction Executive Director Kelly Lynch said.

The Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly details the evolution of Headwaters Junction and its partnership with the City:

“Lynch, Headwaters Junction’s executive director and vice president of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, sees the transfer of the purchase agreement to the city as a bit of a fast track for eventual development of the $15-$20 million project, a place to transport visitors back in time. An important aspect of the project is that it’s not just going to appeal to train enthusiasts, but have recreational and tourism aspects as well, he said.

“This (transfer) really officiates the start of a more formal working partnership with the city,” Lynch said. Over the last couple of years, the city has come to understand not only the vision of the project, but also the impact on tourism, economic development and its quality-of-life benefits, he said.

“Rather than working separately on projects that are meant to benefit the community like riverfront development and Headwaters Junction, we’re finally working together,” he said.”

Steam locomotives delight crowds during open house

By News, Press Coverage

The Journal Gazette covers our 2018 Open House…

Crowds gathered as the historic steam locomotive No. 765 let out a whistle as it sat on the tracks during the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s open house on Saturday.

The glossy black engine, which was the first locomotive to make its way across Fort Wayne’s elevated railroads, had coals stacked high as conductors climbed aboard.

In its seventeenth year, the open house event in New Haven was expected to attract 4,000 to 5,000 visitors over the weekend.

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Society welcomes special steam locomotive guest at 2018 Open House

By Events, News

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society will host its Open House on August 17th, 18th and 19th and steam locomotive Jeddo Coal Company no. 85, a restored tank engine.

Built in 1928 and restored by the Gramling Locomotive Works of Ashley, Indiana, the tank engine will be transported by truck to the Society’s facility and operate train rides throughout the weekend. Ticket sales begin August 1st.
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Grants from Emery Rail Heritage Trust kick-off 
critical fundraising effort for Positive Train Control

By News
July 8th, 2017 – The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society convened a meeting and solicited input from from over half a dozen mainline steam locomotive organizations and The Emery Rail Heritage Trust to address the challenge of Positive Train Control.
The Emery Rail Heritage Trust, Friends of the 261 and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) are pleased to announce $60,000 in grants to fund the development and implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on two historic steam locomotives: Milwaukee Road no. 261 and Nickel Plate Road no. 765. Each organization will receive $30,000 respectively to kick-start their individual fundraising efforts in order to cover the estimated $120,000 for implementation. Read More