SPRING 2017:A hotshot Nickel Plate Road freight train pounds the Monon diamond at Linden, Ind., in November 1964. We take a look at the diverse diesel roster of this Midwestern road, along with Clifford Downey’s experiences chasing Union Pacific 844. Scott Muskopf takes us on a tour of the Arkansas & Ozarks Railway, while Mike Bednar inducts several of his favorite locomotives into his “Alco Hall of Fame.” All this and more in the Spring 2017 issue of Trains & Railroad of the Past!
Prior to its 1964 merger with Norfolk & Western, the Nickel Plate Road had an unusual roster of diesels including EMD, Alco, and Fairbanks-Morse. Despite their “basic black” carbodies, NKP operated a rather interesting diesel fleet with lots of character.
The colorful Arkansas & Ozarks Railway picked up where the Missouri & Arkansas Railway left off, beginning operation under Salzberg management in 1950. Just ten years later, the line would be shut down and abandoned due to severe flooding and mounting losses.
Many railfans are drawn to railroad operations that use antiquated equipment and pass through scenic countryside, qualities which the original Ma & Pa had in spades. Being close to major eastern population centers, the Ma & Pa was accessible and became an early favorite among railroad enthusiasts.