February 2023 Update

Dear Fellow Railroad Historians,

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for their donations in 2022 and a special thanks to the Union Pacific Railroad for allowing us to preserve this historic equipment for future generations. To date your donations have helped us make significant progress at Silvis, IL. Work is moving at a steady pace on the #3985 & #5511 as well as the rebuilding the 115 ft twin span turntable. I am passing along a few pictures below which show work on the #3985 boiler, as well as progress on the turntable. I would like to thank RRHMA’s Erik Hoofnagle and Alex Beams for their leadership on these projects.

The turntable has been properly sandblasted removing all of the old paint, currently we are working with the local Iron Workers Union on an apprentice training program. This program provides critical training to new apprentices in the skills necessary for maintaining steel structures such as the many older railroad bridges which cross the Mississippi River in the region. Throughout 2023 our priority will be working on the #3985, #5511 and #4014 tender, additionally we have been working with NRE to perform a detailed inspection of the DDX Centennial locomotive #6936 for its eventual return to operation. In the coming weeks the former Southern Pacific Business Car Stanford will enter the blast booth and be repainted into the former SP Lark two tone gray paint scheme.  A quick overview of other projects slated for 2023 include:

  1. New windows and stabilization of our UP-lunch counter/dining car.
  2. Installation of a new diesel generator and fuel tank to power the four UP 44 seat coaches and return them to service.
  3. Repairs to UP coach “City of Salina” from minor fire damage that occurred when the car was stored in Oakland.
  4. Glass bead blasting and painting former Western Pacific Business Car Feather River back into its original WP colors.
  5. Additional trackage upgrades to a safe standard for short public operations.
  6. Building and infrastructure upgrades that are necessary to open the facility for limited public use.

In the coming weeks we will be announcing dates for a public open house and inspection of our work to date, I want to thank you for your continued support and donations. I hope to see you all soon when the weather gets a little warmer. 

Best Wishes,

Steve Sandberg
President & Chief Operating Officer