1955: Nickel Plate Road conductor D.A. Popp eyes the crowd atop the newly finished railroad elevation during a special celebration on October 4th, 1955 where Berkshire no. 767 has just broken the ceremonial ribbon before hundreds of onlookers.
For 30 years, the City of Fort Wayne and the Nickel Plate clashed over the project to eliminate a dozen grade crossings from downtown's busy core and motorists had to tangle with 57 trains a day. No one knows it yet, but the project will guide the city's development for over a half century later.
Just ten years after the elevation project, the City and railroad will install a Nickel Plate steam locomotive in Lawton Park to commemorate the project and "a great period of development in our country - the era of steam railroading." The real 767 would be scrapped in 1964 - but Nickel Plate Road no. 765, the engine installed in Lawton Park, would find new life as an excursion locomotive.
For more on this story visit: http://fortwaynerailroad.org/2016/08/the-return-of-the-767/
2016: Railroad employee and Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society member D. Popp poses in front of the 765 - temporarily renumbered "767" to recognize the engine's unique history - during the organization's annual open house.