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Heartlands Donates ALCo to Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad

The ALCo S4 locomotive given to the Heartlands by Empire District Electric Company has been donated to the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad from Abilene, KS. Joe Minick with the A&SV contacted Larry Spahn and advised work on the trailer they will use to transport the engine is ahead of schedule. He will be down the week of 13 February to evaluate the locomotive and the site to determine what will need to be done to load the engine and move it to its new home. The A&SV hopes to eventually restore the engine to operable status and use it as backup power to their current roster.  John Chambers moved that the Heartlands issue a formal donation letter to the A&SV and add a provision requiring the engine be moved within six months of the letter’s signing by both parties. The motion passed unanimously.

Coffeyville Resources Offers Switch Engine To Heartlands

On the suggestion of John Chambers, Brad Bourbina contacted Coffeyville Resources Refinery in Coffeyville, KS regarding a GE 70-ton switch engine that once plied the rails as the plant switcher. As it turns out, the switcher was still in the plant, and Sean White was more than happy to allow Larry Spahn, John, and Brad into the plant to inspect the locomotive. Upon inspection, the group discovered the engine has friction bearings that appear to be in good condition and had been used as recently as 2010. Sean indicated the folks at CVR are more than happy to donate the engine to the Heartlands, and the group tentatively agreed provided it could be moved. Rick Webb was emailed to determine the best way to have the engine moved to the Coffeyville shop for further evaluation. He had not responded as of this writing. At the February meeting, a motion was made to acquire the engine if possible and passed unanimously.

Passenger Train Ride Schedule for 2017 Taking Shape

The 2017 passenger train schedule is coming together, although there looks to be fewer rides than in past years. Both Dewey and Bartlesville, OK expressed interest in rides, and the Western Heritage Group in Dewey is excited to have the train this year, predicting a sellout of all three trains according to a conversation with Larry Spahn. The Stray Cats Car Show in May was also suggested as an option. The Clearwater Lions Club is also set for late April or early May. John Chambers was going to see about coordinating a ride out of Wichita around the same time.  The usual rides remain on the schedule, including Artist’s Alley in Chanute and Little Balkans Day in Pittsburg. Fredonia is also possible in the Fall. A full ride calendar should be ready by next month’s meeting.

Slide Show:  A Slide Show is scheduled for 25 February from 10am to 5pm. Bob Plough will be the featured presenter with photos of Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri rail operations in the 1980s. Bring snacks!

Stove for Webb Center:  The group voted to approve purchase of a gas range, not to exceed $500, for the Webb Center.

Safety Meeting:  The annual safety meeting will be on 1 April at 1pm at the Webb Center. All who wish to work train rides should plan to attend.

Storage Container:  A rock ramp has been built at the entrance to the storage container.

Donation:  John Chambers donated small tables and desks for use at the museum.

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