Iowa Interstate to steam in 2019

RELATED TOPICS: STEAM/PRESERVATION
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IowaInterstate69887081
Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2s Nos. 6988 and 7081 doublehead in Iowa in 2011.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
MENLO, Iowa — In the first announcement of a scheduled big steam locomotive running on a regional railroad in 2019, Iowa Interstate officials Friday said that steam will operate to benefit a volunteer fire department in this community located just west of Des Moines.

A Facebook ad for the Menlo, Iowa, fire and rescue squad said steam will haul four 45-minute trips both east and west of the town on June 29. Presumably, power would be Chinese-built QJ-type 2-10-2 No. 6988, which operated benefits for local fire departments in central Iowa in August. The town is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

No. 6988 is the Iowa Interstate QJ that was given an Americanized appearance in 2011. She and sister No. 7081 were acquired in 2006 by Iowa Interstate’s parent company, Railroad Development Corp. Prior to its August operations, No. 6988 last ran for National Railway Historical Society in June 2012. No. 7081 last ran in 2013. Central States Steam Preservation Association maintains and operates the 1986-vintage locomotives, which are still owned by RDC. According to Iowa Interstate, there will be a second QJ operation next summer.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under and available at local outlets in Menlo and also by calling 641-524-5362. Tickets are also available by mail at Train Ride, 517 7th Street, Menlo, Iowa, 50164.



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