SOO Line 1003 to be retired

The principals of 1003 Operations LLP have announced that the 2-8-2’s last day of operation under its current boiler certification will be a Santa train in Hartford, Wisconsin, on November 13, 2010. This will end 13 years of preserved operation. Plans for a 1472-day inspection and return to service are uncertain at this time.

After its retirement, SOO 1003 was displayed in Superior, Wisconsin. During the 1970s a local group attempted to return it to service, even test-firing the locomotive at its display site, but it wasn’t until 1997 that the locomotive was made operational (at the UP roundhouse in Altoona, WI). Since 1997 no. 1003 has operated primarily on Wisconsin Central (now CN) and Wisconsin & Southern trackage.

Congratulations to everyone involved in 1003’s operation since 1997 for a job well done.

November 1, 2010
Press Release from 1003 Operations:

The Nov. 13, 2010 Santa Train appearance in Hartford, WI is SOO Line steam locomotive 1003’s last run under its 15 year Federal Railway Administration 1472 service day inspection and “authorization” which was completed in 1996.

As of the locomotive’s last run, 1003 will have participated in 45 events in 14 of its 15 service years, missing only 2009. The locomotive’s range in the 14 years included Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois.

While the official expiration of the 15 year period for locomotive 1003 is Nov. 8, 2011, the decision has been made not to perform certain repair activities which would eventually be duplicated under a new 1472 service day inspection project.

A new rebuild project for 1003 has not been firmly decided on, and among other things, will depend on funding options which become available.

The locomotive will remain in the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford, WI where it is secure and available for public viewing.

The owners and volunteers have been especially appreciative of the support of its fans, the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad organization and all its employees, the Wisconsin Automotive Museum, Diversified Rail Services, 1003’s other service groups, suppliers, and in the past, the Wisconsin Central Railroad.

It is hoped that future operation may resume in southern Wisconsin and continue to bring this piece of railroad heritage to the people of Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Further background information on locomotive 1003 may be viewed at

1003 Operations, LLP