Narrow-gauge ‘Frisco’ 0-4-0 enters service in Missouri

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SilverDollarCity504
Silver Dollar City No. 504
Dalton Fischer, Silver Dollar City
BRANSON, Mo. – After an extensive rebuilding a Czechoslovakia-built 0-4-0T has entered service at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson. “Frisco” 504 is a 2-foot gauge 0-4-0T built in 1941 by Czechoslovakia’s Ceskomoravska Kolben Danek. The engine was rebuilt at the shops of the Frisco Silver Dollar Line, which offers rides over 2 miles of track at the popular tourist destination. The engine is painted and lettered in the scheme worn by St. Louis-San Francisco steam locomotives.

The locomotive came to Missouri from the estate of railfan Jim Machacek, who converted it to a tender-equipped locomotive. Machacek built a private two-foot gauge railroad on his property in Northfield, Minn., which he called the Northfield & Cannon Valley. In 1967 he purchased the 0-4-0T and numbered it No. 504 for his favorite steam locomotive on the Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern Railway. Another 0-4-0T came in 1978.
Frisco040T
Before it's rebuild, No. 504 operates on the Northfield & Cannon Valley Railroad in Minnesota in 2007.
Steve Glischinski
Each autumn he opened his railroad to the public for rides. Over the years friends estimated Machacek gave more than 50,000 free rides, but they came to a tragic end on Oct. 13, 2007. During a routine trip around the railroad’s loop, a newly built caboose tipped over, killing a retired Minneapolis firefighter who was serving as one of the railroad’s volunteers. After the accident, Machacek never opened the railroad to the public again. He died in 2012 at age 81, and in 2016 his two steam locomotives, including the 504, were sold to Silver Dollar City.

The Frisco Silver Dollar Line is one of the oldest and most popular rides at the park and is themed after American railroads in the 1800s. The railroad includes a 19th century themed depot, water tower, a trestle, a train wreck scene, a staged train robbery, a tunnel, and a rectangular engine house. In addition to No. 504, the railroad owns five other 0-4-0s.

For more information on the park, go to www.silverdollarcity.com.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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