Iowa Interstate QJ steam locomotive No. 6988 will run in August

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Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2s Nos. 6988 and 7081 doublehead in Iowa in 2011.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa — For the first time in six years, Iowa Interstate will operate Chinese-built QJ-type 2-10-2 No. 6988 on excursions. The trips benefit local fire departments in the central Iowa area and are scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 18 and 19.

The Newton, Iowa-based locomotive will pull four 45-minute trips Aug. 18 out of Mitchellville to the west and on Aug. 19 four 45-minute trips out of Brooklyn, Iowa. A fifth trip will be operated each day if there is demand.

Tickets are available for the Aug. 18 trips from the Mitchellville Firefighters Association through its Facebook page. No ticket info was available for the Brooklyn trips.

No. 6988 is the QJ that was Americanized in 2011. She and sister No. 7081 were acquired in 2006 by Iowa Interstate’s parent company, Railroad Development Corp. 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.

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