Monticello Railway Museum will add an Illinois Central E8

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This former Pennsylvania Railroad E8 will soon be looking like an Illinois Central unit at Monticello Railway Museum.
Steve Smedley
MONTICELLO, ILL. — After 13 years of work by one member who made the restoration of an E8 his personal mission, the Monticello Railway Museum is on the verge of a breakthrough: an Illinois Central-painted unit to match its amazing collection of restored IC passenger cars.
Former Pennsylvania Railroad E8 No. 5764, last used by the Tennessee Central Railroad Museum in Nashville, Tenn., was turned earlier this month so that work can focus on the engineer’s side of this classic covered wagon. The unit will be painted in chocolate brown and orange and lettered and numbered IC No. 4044, one unit above the last IC E-unit.
‘’That’s how we came up with 4044 as a road number,’’ says John Downing of White Heath, Ill., who bought the engine in 2002. “I had to install a headlight nose door and handrails and fabricated steel eyelashes for class light hoods — all key to an authentic Illinois Central replica.
Downing, a 71-year-old retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant who spent his career in missile development, says he bought an extra truck from a scrapper in Little Rock, Ark., and three sets of axle motors and wheel sets for insurance. He calls himself a perfectionist, which is why the project began in 2004 and is just now finishing up.
John Sciutto, museum past president, says he hopes to see No. 4044 in service by November 2018 to power the museum’s popular Polar Express Train. Wabash F7 No. 1189 has pulled the train.
Trains will feature classic cab units like No. 4044 in a 10-page feature in its February issue, arriving at subscribers’ homes soon and on sale everywhere Jan. 9.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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