All Aboard the Empress!

Sponsored by the RRHMA and Central States Steam Preservation Assocation
Purchase Tickets Today!

This spring, Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 #2816 The Empress is touring Canada, the United States and Mexico as part of the Final Spike Tour to mark the First Anniversary of the creation of CPKC Railway. On June 29, 2024, you will have the rare chance to ride behind the famous Empress between Silvis and Bureau Jct., Ill. on the Iowa Interstate Railroad. These are the only public trips being operated during 2816’s North American tour. The trip is being run as an educational fundraiser to promote railroad safety, and are sponsored by Railroading Heritage of Midwest America and the Central States Steam Preservation Association.

The train will travel Iowa Interstate’s former Rock Island main line that once hosted such famous passenger trains as the Golden State, Rocky Mountain Rocket, and Des Moines Rocket. It will feature a mix of modern, streamlined ex-Union Pacific air conditioned coaches from the RRHMA fleet and open window heavyweight cars owned by Iowa Interstate. Fares are $149 for adults and $89 for children in the streamlined cars, and $129 for adults and $79 for children in the open window cars.

Canadian Pacific No. 2816, also known as the Empress, was built by Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1930. After being used for heavy passenger service, the locomotive was retired in 1960. In 1964 it was saved by steam fan F. Nelson Blount and added to his Steamtown USA collection. Canadian Pacific reacquired the locomotive in 1998 and after an extensive restoration, it was returned to service in 2001. It traveled the CP system until 2012. This is 2816’s first public excursion in over a decade.

Plan to be aboard this special main line trip, featuring one of the few chances to ride behind a one of the most famous steam locomotives in North America!

When it comes to passenger car choices, RRHMA has 2 options to choose from.

You may ride in an Iowa Interstate Open Window coach or an RRHMA air conditioned coach.

RRHMA’s 44 seat coaches, built in 1953 by American Car & Foundry, offer plenty of leg room to stretch out and relax on any RRHMA excursion.

Purchased by Iowa Interstate Railroad in 2016 from Austin & Texas Central. IAIS then repainted them in Pennsylvania Railroad inspired paint. Over 1,000 P-70s were built between 1907 and 1929 by many builders, including the PRR itself at Altoona, Pa. Many stayed in service into the 1970s. The “P” stands for passenger, 70 the overall length of the passenger compartment. These open window commuter coaches have mostly original interiors.

*Terms & Conditions apply *Due to the historic nature of the railroad equipment, there is no ADA accesibility. Please consider this when booking your ticket.

Boarding Location

Boarding will be at RRHMA-Silvis

1101 2nd Avenue N, Silvis, IL 61282

When you arrive at the gate, please have your tickets ready, only ticketed passengers will be allowed on the property.