Steam locomotive back on track after $900,000 rehab
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 22 November 2013 07:43

OWOSSO, Mich. (AP) — A World War II-era steam engine is back on track in central Michigan.

A crowd cheered Wednesday night as the Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive's whistle sounded to announce its arrival at the Steam Railroading Institute yard in Owosso, The Argus-Press reported.

"Today there are only seven large locomotives like this still running in America," said Aarne Frobom, the institute's board chairman. "We are the only people in the world waiting for a 200-ton steam locomotive right now, we have the right to feel a little special."

The steam engine was built in 1941 and was retired 16 years later. It was donated to Michigan State University in 1957 and moved in 1983 to the former Ann Arbor Railroad steam locomotive shop in Owosso.

"We celebrate the rebirth of this train, which has captured the imagination of those all around the world," said Mayor Benjamin Frederick. "Owosso is proud to have this gem in our city."

Producers of the 2004 movie "The Polar Express" used its blueprints as the prototype for the film's digital train, and recorded its sounds for use in the film.

A $345,000 grant through the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2009 got the $900,000 refurbishing project started.

"The Pere Marquette 1225 is one of Michigan's great transportation marvels," state transit department official Mike Kapp said during the event.




Information from: The Argus-Press,

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