Group attempting to save Great Northern SD9 from scrapper

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The Go Fund Me page for a group attempting to save a Great Northern SD9 from the scrapper.
Image from Save 599 Go Fund Me page
SEATTLE — A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by rail-heritage enthusiasts in an effort to save a former Great Northern SD9 locomotive in Skykomish, Wash., from the threat of dismantling.

In the first day, the campaign had raised more than $1,100 of a goal of $41,000.

The locomotive in question, No. 599 when in GN livery (it also served on the BN and BNSF), has been parked in the yard at Skykomish for years while the town debated where to put it on display. The locomotive and its fate suddenly became the subject of renewed debate last month when BNSF indicated it was ready to scrap the locomotive, going so far as to drain fluids.

Skykomish Mayor Henry Sladek indicated he and city officials would renew efforts to move the locomotive to a more permanent home in the historic railroad town.

But two obstacles remain. One is deciding where that would be. While the locomotive’s supporters would like something near the town’s restored depot, now a visitors' center, there have been objections to placing it where it might block views of the building.

The other is the cost of moving it, estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. BNSF has agreed to provide additional time for the City of Skykomish to raise the funds needed to move the locomotive and preserve it.

The GoFundMe campaign was launched by Iain Foulds and Kevin Weiderstrom on behalf of the Great Northern & Cascade Railway, a non-profit organization that operates a one-eighth-scale train ride in Skykomish.

“The City of Skykomish is limited in how it can accept public donations, which has complicated raising funds to save 599,” the GoFundMe website explains. The GNCR can sponsor this GoFundMe and accept donations with the agreement that all funds raised will then be donated as a lump sum to the City of Skykomish. With the funds able to be accepted in such a way, contracts can be secured with BNSF to move 599 off the BNSF spur and onto the City of Skykomish park land.

“Once moved, '599' will be an asset of the City of Skykomish and secured for future generations. The GNCR will work as a partner to help maintain and showcase the loco along with other historical railroad artifacts, currently located in the historic Skykomish depot and museum.”

No deadline has been given for the campaign.

If locomotive cannot be saved, donations would be refunded.

More information is available online. 

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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