HEBER — Heber Valley Railroad officials received components Wednesday to restore a historic 1907 steam locomotive.
The No. 618 steam locomotive required conversion from a coal-burning to a used motor-oil burning engine, according to a news release. The necessary parts were donated from a display train that is no longer in use. The components donated include oil control valves, manifolds and firebox parts unique to oil-burning locomotives.
"We are appreciative of the generous assistance of the volunteers and staff at the Utah State Railroad Museum with these parts,” said Mike Manwiller, Heber Valley Railroad's chief mechanical officer. “They, like us, want to preserve the magic of steam locomotives alive in Utah for everyone to experience. We appreciate their cooperation and assistance."
The No. 618 steam locomotive was built in 1907 at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Pennsylvania, according to the news release. The train was originally ordered and used by the Oregon Short Line Railroad, which was later acquired by Union Pacific Railroad. After it went out of commission, the No. 618 was displayed for many years at the Utah State Fair.
It was later donated to the Heber Valley Railroad to provide a historic experience for Utahns.
“We seek to preserve the state’s railroad heritage and cultivate an appreciation for the history of railroading,” said Elizabeth Sutton, Union Station Foundation executive director in a news release. “We are excited to assist with the No. 618 project which will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of Utahns to become partners in preserving our shared heritage.”
The completion date of the restored 1907 steam locomotive has not yet been released.