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Historic 757 train on track to return to Ohio

The 757 was set aside for Bellevue, but at the time, there was no museum to take care of it.

Bellevue, Ohio (WNWO) It's a piece of Ohio history that has been on display in Pennsylvania for decades.

Now there's a push to bring the 757 steam engine home to Bellevue.

Back in its day, the 757 was one of 80 technologically advanced, fast-freight steam locomotives. The Berkshire engines were known as some of the finest steam locomotives in the Midwest.

It's one of just six preserved Nickel Plate Berkshires that remains in existence.

"It was built in the 1940s and retired in 1958," said Chris Beamer, president of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum.

As the engines were retired, several were saved and donated to towns along the line.

The 757 was set aside for Bellevue, but at the time, there was no museum to take care of it.

"We've always felt it was the one that got away from us. It unfortunately got shipped away, but we're starting our campaign to bring it home."

The 757 was transferred more than 400 miles away to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Ten years later, the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum was created. It's grown ever since.

"It's very important. It was started in 1976 as a bicentennial project. We're now the largest railroad museum in Ohio. We have over 50 pieces of equipment, five major buildings, and 10 acres of property.

Now, decades later, the museums have come an agreement that would bring back 757.

"It's going to be a big one for us. It's something we've always needed: a steam engine. We've never had one and have always felt like we missed that part of it."

Beamer estimates it will cost around a quarter million dollars to make the move.

Part of that cost includes getting the 757 back into running shape.

"We have to prep the locomotive, make sure the airbrakes work, make sure everything turns and spins okay and petition the railroad to move it for us."

In the end, the train will make its way back to Ohio on its own wheels.

"It'll come on its own wheels, down the rails. We're hoping we have no issues with that travel, but it'll come on its own wheels."

Once it has been moved and restored, Beamer says the 757 will have a prominent spot in the museum.

If you'd like to help out, click here to donate or learn more.

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