Steam locomotive, a crowd favorite, motors through Western Pa.

| Monday, May 13, 2013, 1:06 p.m.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765, a 404-ton Berkshire steam locomotive, rambled through Allegheny and Westmoreland counties on Monday on its way to Altoona.

“Thank you for a great showing,” tweeted Daniel Udrija. “It was so nice to watch it go by in Avon Lake with my 19-month-old daughter. She loved it.”

The dead-head trip — meaning the locomotive is without passengers or freight — continues eastward to the Harrisburg area on Tuesday.

The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based locomotive, built in 1944, will carry Norfolk Southern employees around Horseshoe Curve outside Altoona on Saturday and Sunday, and will be used for public trips around the bend between Lewistown and Gallitzin from May 25-27. Tickets for the public trips sold out within 24 hours in February.

No. 765 will pass through the Pittsburgh region again on May 29 and stop at the Conway rail yard in Beaver County.

The steam locomotive covered more than 4,000 miles last year in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, operating employee-appreciation excursions for Norfolk Southern's 30th anniversary. Its progress can be tracked at www.fortwaynerailroad.org/locate/locate.html.

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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