Volunteers Help to Keep The Steam Rolling at Boone Railroad

BOONE, Iowa -- Since 1989, the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad has been operating the last ever steam locomotive built in the world.

But like any piece of equipment, it needs maintenance. The iconic tourism attraction in Boone will not be operating this summer. The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad's 8419 Steam locomotive is out of service.

The non-profit museum is faced with a bill of over $100,000 to get the steam locomotive running again.

“They call it a 1472 day inspection, but really it’s a minor rebuild,” said Travis Stevenson, general manager of the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad. “Every 15 years it’s something on the docket [and] we have to do this inspection.”

Volunteers have taken the locomotive apart, working on bolts that hold the boiler together.

“To do the inspection on 8419 on steam locomotive is around $100,000,” said Stevenson. “There’s a lot of expenses. Replacing the flues and super-heaters is the big expense. It requires bringing in a contractor that’s got certification for working on a boiler.”

The Railroad is working on raising the funds for the repair. The steam locomotive is not expected to return to service, until fall at the earliest.

For more information on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, or to contribute to the rebuilding effort, visit their website here.

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