Lake Superior Railroad Museum seeking funds to rebuild Soo Line 2719

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DULUTH, Minn. – The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is seeking a grant to rebuild Soo Line 4-6-2 No. 2719 when it comes due for its federally mandated inspection in 2013. The railroad has applied for a $305,000 Federal Highway Substitution preservation grant to fund the inspection and rebuilding of the locomotive.
The railroad recently learned its application has survived the first round of cuts, museum executive director and North Shore Scenic Railroad General Manager Ken Buehler says.
The engine will come due for its inspection in summer 2013. Buehler tells TRAINS that the museum would contract with Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis., to do the work, which would permit the Alco-built Pacific to run for another 15 years. The museum will do all prep work before the move to Fraser, Buehler says. This would include stripping all appliances and pumps from the boiler. The locomotive is owned by the Locomotive & Tower Preservation Fund of Eau Claire, Wis., which returned the engine to service in 1998. The museum leases the locomotive from the fund.
Soo 2719 was built in 1923 and pulled the last steam-powered train on the Soo Line, a Minneapolis-Ladysmith, Wis., round trip on June 21, 1959. In 1960, it went on display at Carson Park in Eau Claire until it was removed for restoration. It was moved to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum late in 2006 and began operating on the museum’s North Shore Scenic Railroad in 2007 between Duluth and Two Harbors, Minn. It typically runs on five weekends in late summer and early fall.
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