NKP 765 Steam Excursion - The "Wabash Cannonball"

On October 26th and 27th, restored steam locomotive no. 765 will operate a round-trip excursion between Fort Wayne and Lafayette, Indiana, retracing the route of the famous Wabash Cannonball passenger train.

Sponsored by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in cooperation with Norfolk Southern Corp, the excursion will feature economy and coach class seating aboard vintage passenger cars. Passengers will enjoy a day long trip behind steam locomotive no. 765, lunch and layover in downtown Lafayette along the Wabash River, on-board entertainment, and more.


Visitors to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s Open House this weekend at 15808 Edgerton Road, New Haven will be able to tour the locomotive up close.

Tickets will go on sale at 6:00PM EST on September 1st.


Get the details here.

Original Post

Did you know that the Wabash Railroad named its express run between Detroit and St Louis as the Wabash Cannon Ball in 1949, in the wake of the song's popularity?  It is the only actual train to bear the name, which it carried until discontinued in 1971. However, the train was named after the song, not the other way around.


The folk song was originally published 1882 as "The Great Rock Island Route" and was rewritten with different lyrics over the years with a rewritten version by William Kindt appearing in 1904 under the title "Wabash Cannon Ball".  If you sing the chorus, you can easily understand why Kindt changed the name to the Wabash Cannon Ball.  It simply sounds better like the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  Not many other names that work that well in that tune either - can you imagine the composer using "Cincinnati Choo Choo"?

Bill Cantrell

Vicksburg, MS

MTH O Scale, 3 rail

20 years in the making is really not just marketing hyperbole. This is truly a testament to the changes that have come about at NS and the amount of trust FWHS and 765 has earned running for them the past two years. HW nailed the key point, this isn't a Amtrak excursion, this isn't a Class 1 excursion. I would love to know how this will be insured. I didn't think it was possible to get affordable insurance without Amtrak these days. Again congrats to FWHS.

That which is seen is temporary, that which is unseen is eternal, therefore, focus on the unseen things.

I'm not sure what a "Class 1 excursion" is, but this IS an excursion on a Class 1 railroad. So I guess that makes it a "Class 1 Excursion." 


As to the insurance coverage, the same coverage is in effect for these trips as that which covered the Rocky River trips and the Horseshoe Curve trips back in May.

Thinking about this upcoming run, I wonder what the maximum allowable speed will be? Theres a thread over at RYPN about UK excursions running at 90 mph, and some of the pacing shots on the UP seem to approach or exceed this speed. Of course this is out in the middle of nowhere. Just a fantasy, but it would be terrific to run on the NE Corridor, doing what these fast engines were meant to do, haul tonnage at speed.

Sorry, I understand, not trying to pry, just trying to understand how steam operates in this day and age. After a long drought, we are fortunate to so many excursions as of late. Loving every moment of it.

That which is seen is temporary, that which is unseen is eternal, therefore, focus on the unseen things.

Originally Posted by MrMuffin'sTrains:

Rich - Do you know where it will cross US31?.....

Just west of Peru, IN, US 31 does cross over the NS/exWabash tracks.

EDIT: Behind the McDonalds billboard sign





US31 over WabashRR


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