C&NW 1689 Settling in at Illinois Museum

A former Chicago & North Western Alco RSD-5 that once operated on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and was displayed in Bellevue, has settled in at its new home.

C&NW No. 1689, which has been owned by Gary Baloun since 1981, will now reside at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union.

In addition to the CVSR, the locomotive has seen service over the years on the Chicago Madison & Northern, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Northern Central Railway Dinner Train.

It was stored at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum between summer 2011 and June 2014.

Norfolk Southern moved the 1689 to Chicago in a ferry move of diesel locomotives returning to Union from the streamliners festival in North Carolina in late May.

No. 1689 was built in April 1954 as part an order for seven units, Nos. 1684-1690. Five units, including No. 1689, were equipped steam generators for passenger service, while Nos. 1686-1688 had both steam generators and dynamic brakes and raised short hoods, earning them the nickname “Hammerheads.”

On the C&NW, No. 1689 spent most of its life working on the North Western’s “Alco Line” across southern Minnesota and central South Dakota until its 1981 retirement.
In a post on the museum’s blog, Baloun said he plans to donate the 1689 to the museum. The locomotive is serviceable, but needs batteries.

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