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Thanks for posting that Nick!

Wow, the list of restored, or in the process of being restored steam locomotives gets longer every year.

At least thats one good thing about these troubled times we're living in.

I remember when my dad took me to chase the Bicentennial T1 on the I.C. when I was just a young kid.

He'd say," Thats all going away, you aren't going to see steam locomotives running like that ever again".

How wrong he was! Thank goodness!

Last edited by RickO

Always great to see the 4070. I rode behind her on two excursions out of Chicago to Valparaiso, Indiana in 1968 and 1969. I believe it was owned by Lou Keller and was one of Dick Jensen's projects and he ran the excursions. The attached pictures are some of what  I shot on March 23, 1969 at Stilwell, Indiana reversing the train on the wye.

Fun times.

GTW #4070

GTW #4070 Stillwell,IND. March 23, 1969


Images (2)
  • GTW #4070: Turning the train at Stilwell, IN.
  • GTW #4070 Stillwell,IND. March 23, 1969
Last edited by Rich Melvin

Jeff - I also rode those excursions.  Believe it was the Fall '68 trip where the 4070 ran out of coal, stayed overnight somewhere in Indiana and the locomotive and train was towed in by available diesel power in the next AM. I took my soon to be little brother in law on the trip and his parents were very worried. My fiancee said to her parents, "Don't worry; just part of the festivities!".      She and I rode a GTW trip out of Dearborn St Station pulled by Reading 4-8-4 #2102 previously, which developed mechanical problems at about 26th Street, had to back to the station, and the trip was annulled. She was already an old hand!

Well, I think you might have the event a little off.  I will have to look and see if I can figure out which trip it was, but I think it was the March trip. 4070 left with a tender not quite full of water, so I was told. We got out into the middle of no where and were stranded, as the engine was cut off and ran light to I think Valpo... We sat in a field alongside the coaches and waited and waited. Eventually the 4070 returned, but the trip did not go any further. Instead we had to wait for a diesel freight train to come and get us and haul us back to the Dearborn Station. The trip made headlines. My buddy's father called the Chicago police to see where we were, and his Dad called mine to let him know the problems. I do not recall what time of the early AM we got into Dearborn, but then we had to walk to Union Station to get a Milwaukee passenger train back to hometown Milwaukee. I can still remember trying to sleep on the hard benches, as we waited for the first departure to Milwaukee; and there was an arcade game in a corner somewhere, and it had to do with a submarine game, and all you could hear was the constant sonar blip as the game awaited a customer to go up to it and play the game. That was the last excursion I was on with Dick Jensen. He always meant well, but had a lot of problems. By 1970 I took a trip to Colorado and rode the #8444 from Denver to Laramie WY. and back. That was a heck of an excursion, really well run by the U.P.

Well I think I am thinking this correctly. I also seem to remember something about being able to get to a town and the passengers wiped a fast food place out of all his chicken. But I don't remember where we were at that point. As for Dick the sorry state of his situation caused the scrapping of GTW 5629 and CB&Q 5632...two real tragedies as far as I am concerned, but he tried his best.

I also have fond memories of helping fire up 5629 on a Sunday in Milwaukee when the engine developed a hot axle on the lead truck while pulling the circus train to Milwaukee.

They had to lay over that day and return to Chicago on this Sunday. We found where the engine was tied up, and met and worked with Dick and J.David Conrad to get the engine hot and return to Chicago, unfortunately I was not able to go back with them, but they had invited me to do so. That would have been momentous.

4070 has had a rather special place in my heart. From its cameo in one of my favorite sports films The Natural, to its career on the Cuyahoga Valley Line, and that it was one of the last steam locomotives to operate regularly scheduled passenger service before dieselization on the Grand Trunk makes it one of a kind. I'm glad to see there's a great deal of progress being made and hasn't been forgotten after all these years.

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