Posts Tagged ‘Chicago & North Western’

Group Eyes Restoring C&NW Steamer

July 7, 2022

A Michigan group is seeking funding to restore a former Chicago & North Western steam locomotive.

The Steam Railroading Institute estimates it will cost $1 million to restore 4-6-0 No. 175.

The group, which operates former Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225, is seeking to raise $40,000, which would match a grant it received through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported on its website that the Steam Institute has thus far raised about $70,000.

The report said the 175 was acquired by the Steam Institute in 2018 and then moved from Hancock, Michigan, to Owosso, Michigan, where the Steam Institute is based.

The 175 was built in 1908 and retired in the 1950s. Once restored, the 175 is expected to operate with the 1225 in excursion service.

What We Found Way Up North

January 5, 2022

Mike Ondecker and I found Chicago & North Western No. 1697 (FM H16-66) in Escanaba, Michigan, on June 12, 1974.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

UP Has 24 Active ‘Heritage’ Locomotives

February 15, 2020

Trains magazine reported this week that Union Pacific still has 24 active locomotives that continue to sport the predecessor railroad liveries.

UP has about 8,000 locomotives and most of them wear Armour yellow and gray paint.

Among the heritage units still working for UP in their original colors are four former Chicago & North Western units, 12 former Southern Pacific units, and eight former St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) units.

Ex-C&NW units include C44-9W Nos. 9696, 9741, 9771, and AC4400CW No. 6706.

Ex-SP units include, GP40-2 No. 1413; GP60s Nos. 1015, 1053, 1066, 1124; and AC4400CW Nos. 6236, 6290, 6310, 6318, 6367, 6378, 6379.

Ex-Cotton Belt units include GP60s Nos. 1004, 1005, 1011, 1055, 1068, 1076, 1089, 1158.

SRI Restoring ex-C&NW 4-6-0 Locomotive

January 22, 2018

The Michigan-based Steam Railroading Institute plans to restore another steam locomotive to operating condition.

The group in Owosso has acquired former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175 from the Mineral Range Railroad of Ishpeming, Michigan.

The R-1 class Ten-Wheeler locomotive will join a fleet that includes Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 in pulling excursions on the Great Lakes Central Railroad.

No. 175 was built by Alco in Schenectady, New York, in 1908 and worked in Upper Michigan. It is one of three R-1s still in existence

“We’re very excited about a project that’s actually doable,” said SRI executive director Kimberly Springsdorf. “The 175 will be able to go places we can’t go with [No. 1225].”
Kevin Mayer, SRI’s chief mechanical officer, told Trains magazine that the organization decided to buy No. 175 after inspecting it last summer.

The inspection team, which included institute board member Preston Claytor and steam contractor Dan Pluta, determined during an ultrasound test of the boiler and a review of the running gear that restoration was feasible.
“This fits what we’re all about and helps fulfill our mission statement,” Mayer said.

No. 175 could potentially operate on the Great Lakes Central to Petoskey, Michigan, over a 71-stretch of track has bridges that cannot support the weight of the 1225.

SRI officials said they are now exploring fund-raising opportunities to pay for restoration of No. 175, which will be moved by truck to Owosso in June


The Quest for Fallen Flags

January 21, 2017








The popularity of the heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern can be explained by a number of factors, but chief among them is that they represent something that can’t be seen anymore and, in some instances, has never been seen by some.

Railroads that no longer exist under their original corporate identity are known as fallen flags because their “flag” has been folded and relegated to history.

Typically, for a few years after a railroad is acquired or loses its identity in a merger, rolling stock bearing the fallen flag’s name, logo and markings can be seen out on the line.

Repainting locomotives and freight cars can get expensive so it’s more economical to let the old look linger a while longer until a car or locomotive is due to go into the shop or is retired from the roster.

In the past couple years, I’ve been on the lookout for freight cars still bearing the long-since vanished identity of a previous owner.

Finding fallen flag cars takes patience and vigilance. Many fans tend to stop watching a train closely once the motive power has passed.

But if you keep observing, you might be rewarded if you have your camera ready and spring into action at a second’s notice.  That is not as easy as it might seem.

I present here a gallery of fallen flags that I found within the past couple of years.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

C&NW 1689 Settling in at Illinois Museum

July 1, 2014

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.