The restoration of the 757 will be cosmetic only. Any effort to restore and operate a mainline steam locomotive like the 757 would likely cost over a million dollars and require personnel, equipment, financing and infrastructure that our museum does not have.
In addition, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. presently owns and operates a sister Nickel Plate Berkshire and it frequently visits the Bellevue area.
Our initial estimates indicate that we’ll need to raise $250,000 to relocate and restore the locomotive. The cost can be broken down into these categories:
- $100,000 – $150,000 for relocation, which includes dissembling the locomotive, special train rates and labor
- $50,000 for cosmetic restoration
- $50,000 for a new display site that will protect the locomotive from the elements
The most cost effective solution is to move the locomotive on its own wheels from its display site in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. This can only be accomplished after an extensive rehabilitation of its running gear, drivers and air brake system. We have already been in contact with Amtrak and Norfolk Southern to arrange this special move.
We anticipate 3-5 years. This estimate is based entirely on current volunteer labor and fundraising efforts. If we raise enough money to cover the prep work and shipping of 757 from Strasburg, the locomotive could return to Bellevue by the end of 2018.
Our initial plans call for the 757 to be displayed as one of our centerpiece attractions on the west side of our museum under cover and illuminated at night.
Have a question about bringing back the 757? Click here to email us.