Posts Tagged ‘Steam Railroading Institute’

SRI Launches Fundraising Drive to Restore Steamer

August 3, 2022

A Michigan group has kicked off a fundraising drive to restore another steam locomotive.

The Steam Railroading Institute estimates it will take $1 million to restore to operating condition former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175.

The Owosso-based group, which operates former Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225, has more than half of that amount on hand through grants it has already received.

SRI needs to raise at least $40,000 to meet a matching requirement for a federal grant it has been awarded. Thus far it has raised $70,000 of that.

It acquired the R-1 class steamer in 2018 from the Mineral Range Railroad in Ishpeming, Michigan.

The 175 was built in 1908 by American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York.

Museum officials said the 175 will be able to operate on routes for which the 765 is too large to operate.

More information on the “Revive 175” campaign by visiting

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.

PM 1225 to Undergo Overhaul

February 11, 2022

A former Pere Marquette steam locomotives will undergo rebuilding of its running gear.

The Michigan-based Steam Railroading Institute said this week that work on 2-8-4 No. 1225 is expected to begin this month and be completed in time for the 2022 operating season.

The locomotive will be lifted and the drivers, axles and wheel assemblies removed for rebuilding.

The rebuilding work will be performed by FWM Solutions. SRI, which is based in Owosso, Michigan, said the work will be the most extensive to be performed on that component of the Berkshire-type locomotive since it was retired in 1951.

Funding for the overhaul will come from grants and donations, SRI officials said.

PM 1225 to Pull North Pole Express Excursions

November 4, 2021

Former Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 will pull a series of North Pole Express excursions between Nov. 20 and Dec. 19 in Michigan.

Except for trips on Nov. 26, all excursions will operate on Saturdays and Sundays.

Trains will depart Owosso at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on all days, leaving from the Steam Railroading Institute facility.

The trips will last an hour and 15 minutes and reach the “North Pole” in Ashley. About 90 percent of the tickets were sold within an hour after going on sale.

More information is available at

CN Grant to Help Restore SRI Coaches

March 24, 2021

The Steam Railroading Institute will use a donation from Canadian National to repair three passenger cars.

The Owosso-based organization said the CN grant of $2,000 will be applied toward repair the brake valves on former CN coaches Nos. 5447 and 5646, so they can be used in excursion service.

Some of the grant will be used for window refurbishment and seal replacement on former Pennsylvania Railroad coach No. 147.

 “This will allow the continuation of repairs to three of our coaches and will be a significant and important job for our volunteers to better learn the inner workings of our passenger car fleet,” said Aaron Farmer, the institute’s mechanical manager, in a statement.

SRI Cancels 2020 Excursions

September 5, 2020

The Michigan-based Steam Railroading Institute said this week it has canceled the rest of its planned 2020 excursions.

This includes the annual fall foliage specials and the holiday-themed North Pole Express.

In an announcement posted on its website, SRI, which is based in Owosso, cited the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the operation of excursion trains is identified as being among the highest risk activities associated with the spread of the virus.

The North Pole Express will be idle for the first time in 16 years.

SRI said it will explore options for safe, outdoor events in Owosso and hopes to offer a Pere Marquette Christmas experience. The group owns Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225.

The museum is currently closed for public visits in accordance local health department guidelines.

The announcement noted that with excursions stopped and the museum closed, it has lost its traditional sources of revenue.

It is seeking donations in an effort to help make up the income void.

Information on donating is available at or by mailing donations to Steam Railroading Institute; P.O. Box 665, Owosso, MI 48867.

Michigan Museum Delays Opening

May 29, 2020

The Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan, has announced that it is delaying its opening for the season.

In a notice posted on its website, the museum said it was acting in compliance with a state stay-at-home order as well as to protect public health and the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff.

It is the second time this year the SRI has delayed its opening. It posted a similar postponement notice in March.

The latest notice did not give any indication as to when the museum might open for 2020.

In an unrelated development, the June meeting of the Michigan Railroad Club has been canceled due to state social distancing restrictions.

The Detroit area where the club is based has been among the hardest hit in the state.

Summer of Steam Set at SRI in Owosso

June 8, 2018

The Steam Railroading Institute has set its summer slate of programming that will include a visit by Lehigh Valley Coal Company No. 126.

The 0-6-0ST will offer train rides and hand on the throttle experiences in Owosso, Michigan.

Hands on the Throttle will be offered on June 8, 10, 15, 22 and 23; on July 6; and on Sept. 7 and 9.

Trains rides behind the Vulcan-built locomotive will be offered on all of those dates as well as June 9, July 7 and Sept. 8.

Tickets for the train rides are $8 for coach and $12 for the caboose. The hands on the throttle tickets are $160 for a half-hour of running time. Ticket prices do not include a processing fee.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Visitors Center front desk or by calling 989-399-7589.

C&NW 175 Arriving at SRI in Pieces

June 8, 2018

It may be arriving in pieces, but former Chicago & North Western 4-6-0 No. 175 is making its way to its new home at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan.

The boiler of the R-1 class engine was delivered separately from the running gear on the journey by truck from the Mineral Range Railroad in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Altogether, the 175 was disassembled into four components of parts. The boiler had to be modified so that it would stay beneath the 45-ton load limit of the Mackinac Bridge.

The only other alternative to using the bridge would have been to use the carferry SS Badger between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan, or to truck the locomotive around Lake Michigan through Illinois and Indiana.

Permits would have been required for each state through which the boiler passed.

No. 175 was the last steam locomotive operated by the C&NW, pulling an excursion in 1957.

Built by the Schenectady Works in 1908, it spent much of its life working on C&NW lines in the Upper Peninsula. It is one of three R-1s still in existence.

SRI, which also owns Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225, plans to restore the 175 to operating condition at an estimated cost of $750,000.

Once operating, the 175 will be able to travel to places on the Great Lakes Central that are off limits to the larger No. 1225, including north of Cadillac, Michigan.

SRI Offering Hand on Throttle Experiences

May 2, 2018

The Steam Railroading Institute of Owosso, Michigan, is offering opportunities this year to operate a steam locomotive for a half-hour.

Participants will be able to operate a steam locomotive on tracks at the SRI facility. No previous locomotive experience is required, but you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

Tickets are $160 to operate Lehigh Valley Coal Company No. 126, an 87-year-old coal-fired tank engine.

Operating dates are June 8, 10 and 15, July 6 and Sept. 6 and 9.

Tickets are $550 to operate Pere Marquette No. 1225, a 2-8-4 Berkshire-type locomotive.

Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 989-399-7589.