Latest News from Railroading Heritage

Latest News

2024 February Update

February 2024 UpdateEven with the crews taking time for family and friends over the holiday months, things have been moving along steadily at RRHMA-Silvis. 4014's tender has been sandblasted and has a light coat of primer to preserve the metal while it’s moved back into the shop for further work. Inspection and removal of all the wheel sets, this includes bearing work, as well as prepping for its conversion to an oil tender.5511's stack pipes, branch pipes, and superheater header have been...

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2023 December Update

December 2023 UpdateIt has been a busy last couple months at RRHMA-Silvis, many exciting things have been happening! The main rods and crossheads were removed from Union Pacific 2-10-2 #5511, so the faulty piston rods may be removed from the crossheads in preparation for new piston rods. New flue tubes have arrived for both 5511 and UP Challenger #3985. Stay bolt caps from our friends at Strasburg Rail Road have arrived as well. A big milestone are upgrades to allow relighting of the old light...

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2023 October Update

October 2023 UpdateOver the last month, volunteer crews have been busy working away at many things at RRHMA-Silvis, here are just a few of the highlights. Crews have moved  Big Boy #4014's tender from the west end of the building, over to the drop pit on the east end of the building. #4014’s tender was prepped for wheel removal and had 6 of its wheel sets removed. Crews are also in the process of prepping the rest of the tender for media blasting.Patches for #3985's boiler are being drawn out...

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2023 September Update

September 2023 UpdateAnother first for RRHMA! After spending the majority of this year in the paint booth, Southern Pacific business car Stanford was rolled outside for the first time in August in fresh two-tone Southern Pacific Gray, bringing new life to the car, built in 1928. While there are still a few minor details to finish, this is a crowning achievement for RRHMA Silvis.Volunteers have been working hard the last couple months around the Silvis shop. Parts are still coming off...

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2023 July Update

July 2023 UpdateThings have been busy the last couple months at the RRHMA shop in Silvis. National Railway Equipment (NRE) has been working on Centennial DDA40X diesel #6936, making any repairs necessary to bring it back to operational condition. Work continues on Union Pacific 2-10-2 #5511. The fire brick has been removed to facilitate the upcoming inspection of the firebox. The safety valves have been removed and are on their way for rebuilding, and the dynamo (used to generate electricity...

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2023 April Update

April 2023 UpdateHere are a few of the many things that have been happening in the past month at Railroading Heritage of Midwest America Silvis:  Union Pacific 2-10-2 No. 5511 has had its boiler flue tubes removed. Over the upcoming months its boiler will be cleaned and prepped for inspection and plans will be made for future repairs. In the passenger car area, former Southern Pacific business car Stanford has been spending some time in the sandblast both in preparation for any necessary body...

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2023 March Update

March 2023 UpdateMany things are happening all at once at RRHMA Silvis. Along with the help of NRE, the DD40 Centennial #6936 had a thorough inspection. Many of the items looked at in an inspection are Top deck, this is were cylinder heads, mechanical fuel injectors & linkage, valvetrain, cooling water and fuel piping are inspected. Inspections also cover the crankshaft and crankshaft main bearing, any defects have been noted and are in the process of getting ready for repairs. #5511 dome...

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2023 February 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...

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2023 Winter Update

Thanks to the generous contributions from members and donors, RRHMA volunteers have been working hard the last few months on the #3985, #5511 and many other things. Crews disconnected the tender from the engine and removed the cab of the #3985 to make restoration work easier. With the help of Iron Workers Local 111 out of Rock Island on metal repairs and NRE’s assistance with the crane, rigging and switching between the shop and the sand blast booth, the former Milwaukee Road turntable is...

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UP Donation Train arrives Silvis

After months of planning and negotiations, hours of hard work and dedication, and with the continued support from generous donors, the Union Pacific Donation Special arrived at the Silvis Shops on Saturday, November 19, 2022. The following day, the shops were opened to the public to allow them to Walk Among the Giants ­– 4-6-6-4 Challenger #3985, 2-10-2 #5511, and the largest diesel in the world, DDA40X Centennial #6936, plus several other pieces of historic equipment. Several hundred people...

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