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Archive News Story

Reason for Cancellation of Tour 1 - NKP 765

President DeVito was recently notified by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society [FWRRHS] that they would not be able to operate the Kokomo to Logansport NKP 765 Passenger Train as part of our convention activities [Tour 1, Monday, July 21]. This came as a complete surprise to all of us.

FWRRHS explained that in order to reach the Winamac Southern track, which is the railroad over which the excursion was to operate between Kokomo and Logansport, the train would have to use approximately 2 miles of track in Logansport that is owned by Genesee and Wyoming Inc. [G&W]. G&W is unwilling to grant permission for this move, consequently we have no way to reach the Winamac Southern Railroad.

The contract operator for the Winamac Southern is US Rail Corp.  FWRRHS was assured back in December 2013 by US Rail that access to and usage of the G&W track in Logansport would not be a problem. Unfortunately, this has proven not to be the case.

US Rail and LCCA contacted G&W directly and offered several options that would hopefully satisfy G&W concerns. FWRRHS has an excellent working relationship with Norfolk Southern. Using that relationship, FWRRHS also asked a senior VP at NS to contact G&W and put in a good word on our behalf, which he did.  Unfortunately, none of the appeals and options presented would change G&W decision. 

Although the 765 has moved over these rails before [the most recent being in 2011], the reason given by a G&W VP for Transportation is that safety is their major concern. In his comments, he expressed that G&W is not comfortable with passengers, and certainly not comfortable with a steam locomotive pulling them over the intended route which is felt to be satisfactory for freight but not for passengers.

He further expressed that the G&W cannot mitigate the fact that the train would be operated on their property with their company name and reputation identified with any potential incident that might occur.  Although, they were appreciative of the offer to resolve some of the concerns, the G&W respectfully declined to do so.  This type of event is not a part of the G&W business model.  

The FWRRHS also contacted NS about alternate excursion routes for us, using NS tracks. To add to our frustration, due to increased freight traffic and a shortage of crews on NS, they have canceled all excursions on NS for the rest of the year.

For these reasons, we are canceling Tour 1 – the NKP 765 Excursion for Monday. The other tours and events including the Monday seminars scheduled for the rest of the week will continue as planned.  We encourage you to sign up for one of the exciting alternative tours being offered on Monday.  One tour is an open house of the FWRRHS facility to visit the MKP 765 in New Haven, IN.  Others are described on attached sheets. .

I personally share your disappointment and frustration with this unfortunate news. The following modified expression "Soot Happens!" seems to apply to our current situation.  I assure you the LCCA did everything it could do to salvage our originally intended tour.   The entire LCCA convention team worked hard developing alternate tours and plans to have a full week of fun, enjoyable activities, Lionel Trains and another successful LCCA convention.  We at the LCCA appreciate your understanding, your continued support and participation in our 44th Annual Convention.  I look forward to seeing you in Indy for a week of fun with Lionel trains and other fellow LCCA members.  

Dennis DeVito RM6758
LCCA President 

For more details see - this link