Soo Line 2-8-2 No. 1003 underwent a series of test firings last week at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford. With assistance from Wisconsin & Southern Railroad President Bill Gardner, the locomotive is being rebuilt by 1003 Operations, LLP, at a cost of approximately $400,000.
In a recent post on the Wisconsin & Southern Yahoo group page, Gardner said, “Soo 1003 should be in full steam by June 15.”
The locomotive last operated pulling a Santa Train in Hartford on Nov. 13, 2010, when it came due for its mandatory 15-year Federal Railroad Administration inspection. The engine was then returned to its long-time home for display at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford.
The Soo Line 1003 was donated for display to the city of Superior, Wis., in 1959, and returned to service in 1996. Starting in the late 1990s, the Wisconsin & Southern has hosted the engine, approving appearances under steam for community events and photo charters across its system.
A brief clip of Soo Line 1003 under repair at Hartford, Wisconsin.
The first 2-8-2 ever built was for the Emperor of Japan and is where it got its name “Mikado” type. The Soo Line 1003 was constructed by American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York in March of 1913 at a cost of $25,654.63. It was one of an order for ten engines in the L-1 class.
To follow the progress of the Soo Line 1003, go to http://www.sooline1003.com/