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www.railfan.com/railnews DAN BOLYARD DAVID BLAZEJEWSKI


Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 No. 557 Probably the biggest surprise of late 2011 was the announcement that Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 No. 557 had been purchased and would be sent back to The Last Frontier to be rebuilt for ser- vice. The S-160 Consolidation was built in 1944 by Baldwin (No. 70480) for the U.S. Army Transportation Corps as No. 3523. Unlike many of its sisters, which were sent overseas during World War II, it stayed Stateside and after the war was sent to work on the Alaska Railroad as No. 557. As the Alaska dieselized, No. 557 became the road’s last operating steam locomotive. In 1964 it was sold for scrap to a yard in Everett, Wash. with the tender from a Copper River & Northwestern Mikado. ARR kept the original tender for use as a water car. No. 557 was later purchased by the late


Monte Holm, a collector of railroad and logging equipment, who added it to his House of Pover- ty Museum in Moses Lake, Wash. After lan- guishing for there decades, in late 2011 the lo- comotive was purchased by Jim and Vic Jansen, owners of Lynden, Inc., a shipping company which, among other endeavors, oper- ates seagoing barges that carry freight be- tween Alaska and the mainland. The Jansens donated the engine to the Alaska Railroad with the stipulation that it be rebuilt for service. No. 557 was loaded onto an Alaska Railroad


flatcar in Wheeler, Wash., on December 8, 2011 (above) and moved by rail to Seattle, Wash., where it was loaded onto a rail barge for the trip up the Inside Passage to Whittier, Ak., where it regained home rails for the first time since it was sold for scrap. A pair of ARR GP40- 2s hauled No. 557 along the Cook Inlet (above right) in a special move to Anchorage on Jan- uary 3, 2012. The locomotive will be reunited with its original tender as part of the overhaul. A very close relative, Alaska Railroad 2-8-0 No. 556, still exists and has been on display in An- chorage since its retirement.


Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 No. 28 While it’s not a candidate for restoration to op- eration, Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 No. 28 was able to get out of the house on December 13, 2011 (right), and stretch its legs as BNSF


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Railway moved it from the Minnesota Trans- portation Museum in Duluth to the Cloquet Terminal Railway shop in Cloquet, Minn. Built as Duluth, Missabe & Northern No. 332 by Al- co in 1906, No. 28 was purchased by the D&NE in 1955 and operated until 1972. It was donat- ed to MTM in July 1974. D&NE’s successor Cloquet Terminal, owned by Sappi Paper, of- fered to cosmetically restore the locomotive for the museum at no charge and BNSF donated the move, which went rather smoothly with the little Alco being bracketed by modern road diesels from both builders.


The Black Diamond Probably the most unusual steam locomotive to be restored in quite awhile is Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. 2-4-2T inspection engine Black Diamond (right), which resides in the collection of the Museum of Trans- portation in St. Louis, Mo. Built by Baldwin in 1889 at a cost of $4250 for the use of built of General Superintendent Roland C. Luther, Black Diamond was retired in 1908. It was loaned to the Museum by the Reading Rail- road in 1949, and was sold to MOT in 1979 by


the railroad’s trustees. On December 15, 2011, it was moved to the museum’s shop, where it will be cosmetically reconditioned be- fore being placed on permanent exhibition in a building that’s currently under construc- tion. Add this one to your list of surviving Reading steam power. — WALT LANKENAU


JEFF TERRY


RON GOLDFEDER


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