WELCOME ABOARD

OUR TIME MACHINE

TOUR OUR TRAIN

The Indiana Rail Experience is powered by the time machines of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. This year’s events will be operated by world-famous steam locomotive no. 765, a 1940s-era machine that has become a living, breathing sensory experience. Originally built for the Nickel Plate Road for fast freight and passenger trains, it was displayed in Fort Wayne’s Lawton Park in 1963 and eventually restored to operation in 1979 by a volunteer workforce. Weighing in at 400 tons and standing 16-feet tall, the 765 is one of the most active steam locomotives still operating in the United States and a roving ambassador and teaching tool for Northeast Indiana.

Joining the 765 in operating trains will be several vintage diesel locomotives owned by the Indiana Northeastern Railroad. Plans call for other historic locomotives to join the Indiana Rail Experience in the future.

Passengers aboard our trains will enjoy accommodations in a variety of open-air coaches, deluxe coaches, and first-class passenger cars from the 20th Century, including the diner lounge Silver Diner and open-air car John H. Emery owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society; three former Pennsylvania Railroad coaches No. 142, 147, and 148; the privately-owned Paul Revere and Woodland Stream first-class cars; and the Norfolk and Western Business Car Preservation Society’s private Pullman business car the Roanoke. Select trains may also use open-window coaches from the Little River Railroad.

JOHN H. EMERY – OPEN AIR CAR

Built in 1955 by the American Car & Foundry at St. Charles, MO, this stainless steel baggage car operated as part of the finest passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, including The Chief, Super Chief, El Capitan, Grand Canyon, and many others.

This car routinely carried the shipments, personal effects, and luggage for passengers and railroad customers on a 2,227-mile journey between Chicago and Los Angeles. Between Santa Fe and later Amtrak, the car is estimated to have accumulated several million miles during its 64 years of regular passenger train service.

Acquired by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in 2019, the organization has transformed the baggage car into a unique open-air passenger car so that guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of historic railroading.

It is named after the late John H. Emery, a lifelong railroad enthusiast, whose generous endowment to the Emery Rail Heritage Trust guarantees that the Golden Age of Railroading will continue to be preserved and enjoyed. In 2022, this car was completed with the assistance of their $10,000 grant and over 2,000 hours contributed by our members. The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society is proud to name this former Santa Fe car in John Emery’s honor.

INN CARS - DELUXE COACH

Constructed in 1949 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia, the Collinsville Inn, Franklinn Inn, and Norristown Inn were originally built as sleeping cars for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s famous passenger trains, several of which operated through Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 1963, the Pennsylvania converted the cars into traditional passenger coaches to transport visitors to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Later, they were assigned to commuter train service in Michigan, New York, and Maryland before they were donated to DCNRHS in 2008. Thanks in part to a 2012 Trains Magazine grant to “introduce new generations of rail enthusiasts to the history and excitement of mainline rail travel,” the cars were restored to their 1960s appearance and certified for use on Amtrak.

SILVER DINER

Originally part of the famous California Zephyr fleet which operated between Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, the Silver Diner is the first such dining car to be owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad.

Built in 1948, the Silver Diner was operated for nearly 70 years by both the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad and later Amtrak, which updated the car in the early 2000s. The car served as part of Amtrak’s Heritage Fleet until it was retired in 2017 and later donated to the FWRHS in 2019. It is one of four surviving cars from the Zephyr’s dining car fleet and volunteers contributed over 3,000 volunteer hours to its reconditioning.

PAUL REVERE

Originally built in 1951 by the Budd Company, the Paul Revere was originally constructed with a 29-seat parlor and 5-seat drawing room. The car was later acquired by Amtrak before being purchased by a private owner in 2006. This car is on lease to the Indiana Rail Experience.

WOODLAND STREAM

Built by Budd in 1949, the Woodland is a 6-double-bedroom/buffet/lounge car constructed for the New York Central Railroad. It was later operated by Amtrak before being purchased by a private owner. This car is on lease to the Indiana Rail Experience.

NORFOLK & WESTERN "ROANOKE"

Built by Pullman in 1917 for the Norfolk & Western Railroad, no. 300 was used by railroad executives throughout the railroad system and was modernized from its early 20th Century design in the 1950s. The car was named the Roanoke in 1977 but was deemed surplus in 1987 when it was acquired into private ownership and placed in long-term storage in 1991. In 2020, the car was donated to the Norfolk & Western Business Car 300 Preservation Society and has been undergoing restoration to its 1950s appearance, including a fundraiser to repaint the car in its original Norfolk & Western livery. For more information or to make a donation, visit nw300.org

FIRST CLASS OPEN AIR PARLOR & TABLE CARS

Enjoy the passing countryside and the sights and sounds of historic railroading in style. These cars feature table and lounge-style seating with open windows and four, large dutch viewing doors for a unique combination of first-class amenities and vintage railroad charm. PLEASE NOTE: As these cars are enclosed but often open to the outdoors, they are not air-conditioned. Click here to join our waitlist to get notified when this car is added.

OUR TRIPS AND EXPERIENCES