The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad (B&SVRR), a division of the Iowa Railroad Historical Society, is excited to announce the most recent restoration to its fleet of diesel locomotives. After four months in the restoration shop, locomotive 2254 pulled out into the sunlight on April 2, 2012.
The locomotive, an 80-ton center cab, was built in July 1943 by General Electric, and used at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas. In 1983, it was the first locomotive purchased by the B&SVRR, and since that time it has pulled excursion trains, dinner trains, and freight trains. Locomotive 2254 was the main workhorse that helped rebuild the track after devastating floods in 2007, 2008, and 2010. Its number, 2254, is a tribute to the 2,254 people who came together in 1983 and purchased an 11-mile portion of the soon-to-be abandoned Chicago and North Western (C&NW) railroad track that ran from Boone to Wolf. This section of track is what became the B&SVRR.
Before the line was absorbed by the C&NW, it was the Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Southern Railway (FtDDM&S). That heritage was behind the paint scheme chosen for the locomotive. The orange, cream, and black paint mirrors that of the diesel locomotives that ran on the FtDDM&S in the 1950’s and 60’s. The FtDDM&S originally operated from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, passing through towns such as Ankeny, Boone, and Huxley along the way. There were also branch lines serving Webster City, Ames, and Rockwell City.
The B&SVRR plans to use the locomotive for special events and trains, as well as having it on display near the new James H. Andrew Museum and History Center. For more information, or to become a member of the Iowa Railroad Historical Society, contact the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad at 1-800-626-0319 or visit their website at www.scenic-valleyrr.com.