Lucky Chillicotheans saw one of the few operating steam locomotives Wednesday in action.



The Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was on its way to the Train Festival Thursday through Sunday in Rock Island and traveled through Central Illinois.


Lucky Chillicotheans saw one of the few operating steam locomotives Wednesday in action.

The Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was on its way to the Train Festival Thursday through Sunday in Rock Island and traveled through Central Illinois.

With its unique sound, residents looked to the tracks and grabbed their cameras to find something not seen everyday. The 14-wheeled
train, which stands 15 feet tall, chugged along the tracks drawing attention wherever it went.

Residents knew there was something different on the tracks that day due to the noise of the 404-ton locomotive.

Due to the extreme heat, the train’s speed was limited to 5 to 10 mph in some areas, but gathered speed up to 45 mph in places, according to Kelly Lynch, communications director for the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Inc.

About a half dozen volunteers traveled on the steam locomotive to its destination. The Indiana society restored the train to its former glory when it was manufactured in 1944 by Lima Locomotive Works.

The society became the first non-profit 501c3 to operate a mainline steam locomotive, according to the society’s website.

The train also has appeared in two 1980s films, “Four Friends” and “Matewan.”

A few residents also saw it come back through town late Sunday night as well, heading home to New Haven, Ind.