Train Wizard Productions



MTH Premier Nickel Plate Road 0-8-0

A new steam locomotive has arrived on the railroad in the form of Nickel Plate Road #272. In real life, NKP 272 began life in 1918 at the ALCO Pittsburgh Works as Wheeling & Lake Erie 5102 in a brand new batch of USRA 0-8-0 switchers. When the Nickel Plate Road leased the Wheeling & Lake Erie it was renumbered to 272 in 1951. The engine served until the end of steam and was scrapped in 1962.

MTH Electric Trains cataloged this particular model in the 2017 Volume 1 catalog and, later a custom run Wheeling & Lake Erie version was announced and I will be adding that to the roster in the next few weeks. The six Nickel Plate Road hoppers in the video are also custom cars.


Nickel Plate Road 765 Deadhead to CVSR

Steam will grace the rails of Lorain County today as Nickel Plate Road 765 makes its way to the annual Steam in the Valley excursions at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The historic 1944 Lima-built 2-8-4 Berkshire type steam locomotive will travel along Norfolk Southern’s rails today and tomorrow. The engine will travel along the old Nickel Plate Road from its home in Fort Wayne to Bellevue, OH and will continue to Vermilion. Just west of Vermilion it will switch to the old New York Central route and travel through downtown Amherst and Elyria on its way east to Cleveland and the CVSR.

Good places to see it in Lorain County are listed below –

Coen Road railroad crossing in Vermilion.

Downtown Vermilion on the Route 6 bridge over the river.

Cooper Foster Park Road and Crosse Road railroad crossings between Vermilion and Amherst.

Nordson Depot in Amherst.

Elyria Amtrak Station in Elyria.

You can track the engine online at

Below is a video from last year!


The Hat That Lived & 100th Video

I rode the Joliet Rocket with Nickel Plate Road 765 on June 17, 2017. We left a little behind schedule but once the train started moving I went to the open vestibule in our car to experience the sound of a 1944 built locomotive travel 70 MPH. The Windy City had other ideas and promptly tour off my hat which was rather sad as this was the hat I always wear on excursions. The cancellation of the photo run by did not help to lift my spirits but I settled into riding in the vestibule for the rest of the trip. After the layover at La Salle Street Station, the impromptu photo run by did make for it with a surprise wheelslip. On the return trip, I set myself in the vestibule and lo and behold I saw my hat near the crossing in the town of Mokena! I marked the location as best I could with my iPhone. After getting of the train we drove out to Mokena and walked along the tracks and there it was. The pins must of weighed it down forĀ  3 hours but unfortunately the The Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society, Inc. pin had vanished. Thankfully I can simply order a new one. We then went over to the Mokena Metra station and waited for 765 to blast through with the afternoon Joliet Rocket. This is the 100th video that I have uploaded to my Train Wizard Productions YouTube Channel!

NKP 765 Wheelslip in Chicago

I rode morning Joliet Rocket behind Nickel Plate Road 765. Due to a late start, the photo run by was cancelled so the crew arranged a mini run by at La Salle Street Station in Chicago. Not wanting to be in the crowd my Dad and I headed to end of the platform to see the spectacle. After a great whistle blast, you will soon see the wheels lose their grip for a small case of the wheelslip. Enjoy!

Nickel Plate Road Steel Train

After many, many years I finally have a true steel mill train. Nickel Plate Road 365 was the first MTH Premier Line steam locomotive in my collection. It is based on a standard USRA 0-6-0 switch engine. The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway originally built 365 as W&LE 3965 in the company shops in Brewster, OH. After the Wheeling was leased by the Nickel Plate Road it was renumbered to 365. Two Wheeling & Lake Erie 0-6-0s survive. NKP 384 and W&LE 3960.

Next up is the brand new Lake Terminal Railroad gondolas. Again these are from the MTH Premier Line. The Lake Terminal Railroad was a small switching railroad which served the steel plant at Lorain, OH. It facilitated the movement of cars in and out of the extensive operations at Lorain with the Nickel Plate Road, Lorain & West Virginia (Wheeling & Lake Erie), Baltimore & Ohio, New York Central and their successors. It is still in operation today.

The US Steel cars were made by Lionel Electric Trains in two productions runs. The first three slag cars picked up by the engine were cataloged in 2003 while the second three and the two hot metal cars were made in 2016. The new ones are equipped with LEDs but other than that there is not much difference between the two runs.

You may notice a few changes on the layout. Notably the ballasted mainline. I was able to get many of the required Fastrack Remote/Command Switches in place and I only have to get the ones required for the freight yard trackage. The station on the mainline has swapped its installed rectangular platform for one custom made out of Woodland Scenics’ Mold-A-Scene Plaster. A glimpse of NKP 755 sitting on a new engine terminal track can be seen at the beginning of the video but more on that later!

NS Central of Georgia Heritage Unit

On Wednesday April 9th I was lucky enough to receive a confidential tip-off that the Norfolk Southern Central of Georgia Heritage Unit was about to head east on the old Nickel Plate Road out of Bellevue, OH to Conneaut, OH. I immediately drove to Vermilion, OH and situated myself next to the tracks along the coast of Lake Erie. I ended up waiting an hour but it was an hour well spent!

Besides being the first time seeing #8101 the Central of Georgia I also got to see my first DC to AC conversion unit locomotive #4005, and a far from home Pan Am (Maine Central) SD40-2. NS #8101 is one of the 20 Norfolk Southern Heritage Units commemorating the 20 Class 1 railroads now part of the NS system. The COG paint scheme uses the same pattern and colors as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s “Royal Blue” paint scheme with the exception of orange striping instead of gold. NS #4005 was rebuilt from C40-9 #8867 into a new AC44C6M at the Juniata locomotive shop in Altoona, PA It is one of 4 painted in a special black mane and grey paint scheme and one of two with a blue stripe.

MTH RailKing ABC Railway #1502

It has been a long time since I last posted but that’s what happens when you are involved with 7 different projects. I bought this engine a few months ago from Patrick’s Trains right when they came out. As a graduate of Kent State University I got to see and hear the ABC Railway quite a lot. While MTH did catalog SW1500 #1501 I saw #1502 first when I got to Kent so it was special to me.

ABC stands for Akron, Barberton Cluster Railway a subsidiary of the Wheeling & Lake Erie. It is the successor to the Akron, Barberton Belt Railway which was itself a subsidiary of the Akron, Canton, and Youngstown Railway.

Suffice it to say it is an excellent locomotive and that custom run Wheeling & Lake Erie caboose is pretty cool too!


MTH Premier Line Nickel Plate Road 755

It’s been awhile since my last video. Presenting the new MTH Premier Line Nickel Plate Road S2 Berkshire #755! I assure you that this will be the first of many videos for 2017. I plan on producing an in-depth comparison of the MTH Berkshire verses the Lionel one as well. Enjoy!

NKP 765 Deadheading West Video

Today I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to catch Nickel Plate Road 765 deadhead west back to Fort Wayne in Elyria, OH. Later on in the day I came across the shortest CSX train I have ever seen with two locomotives hauling a single Lake Terminal gondola traveling north to Lorain.


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