SP 4449 Rides Again

It’s turning into a Lima reunion.

Ex-Southern Pacific 4-8-8 no. 4449 will depart Portland, OR, July 3 on a 2500-mile cross-country trek to Train Festival in July, where it will join ex-NKP 765 and ex-PM 1225 in Owosso, MI.

In cooperation with Amtrak, BNSF Railway, and Friends of the 261, no. 4449 will operate via the “Empire Builder” route, hauling a train of private cars to Minneapolis, MN. Then it’s on to Chicago and Durand, MI, where the Daylight will enter the Great Lakes Central tracks to Owosso.

Once at Train Festival, no. 4449 will power an excursion to Alma, Michigan, on Friday, July 24, and be on display Saturday and Sunday.

After Train Festival, no. 4449 will return to Minneapolis, where it will lay over until until fall, when the Friends of the 261 will feature it on their usual public excursions. No. 4449 will then return to Portand to fulfill its duty on “Holiday Express” trips.

It’s been 35 years since a young Doyle McCormack took on the task of rehabilitating a display locomotive for service on the American Freedom Train. No. 4449’s current boiler certification will expire in June, 2013, so this may be the Daylight’s last cross-country trip for a very long time indeed. So don’t miss this one.

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