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THE HEART OF EVERY RAILROAD

No railroad is complete without trains and train cars! Over the years, we were blessed to be given access to historical rail equipment, including Number 5. As you scroll below, there will be pictures and information regarding each piece of rolling stock or locomotive.

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St. Louis Iron Mountain #5

Number 5 was built in 1942 by Porter Locomotive Works, for the Central Illinois Public Service Co. Number 5 worked for them as a saddle tank steam engine until 1963, when she was donated to the Mid-Continental Rail Museum. In 1971,  #5 was purchased by the newly founded Crab Orchard and Egyptian, and after a brief overhaul, she was placed into excursion service taking passengers along their 8 mile stretch of track. After her first season of service, #5 was completely rebuilt. The saddle tank was taken off, and a tender was added to make her look more like a road engine, as pictured to the left. #5 operated on the CO&E until 1984 when she was put out of service due to excessive repairs.

A man named Shelby Brown approached the CO&E in 1985 and offered to purchase the small locomotive. His offer was accepted, and Number 5 was sent to Jackson, Missouri on the newly founded St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway. #5 operated regularly on the Iron Mountain until 1999, when she was disassembled for the 15 year 1472 inspection. Costs to rebuild #5's flues exceeded $200,000, and the railroad did not have enough funds to properly put it back together. Number 5 was then deemed out of service, and was moved to the back so possible repairs could be made in the future.

20 years later, the No. 5 Steam Team emerged from the Iron Mountain, with a new goal in mind: bring Number 5 back to operational service. As of January 2021, the No. 5 Steam Team has raised over $2,000 to help restore the engine, but they are far from finished.

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Pennsylvania Railroad #5898

Built in 1952, Pennsylvania Railroad #5898 was an icon of the diesel era. Out of the 74 purchased by the PRR, 5898 was the second to last unit on that list, right before 5899. Once out on the rails, she was assigned passenger trains regularly. 5898 was capable of reaching speeds of up to 117 miles per hour, with her maximum horsepower being rated at 2,250.

In the early 1970s, the Pennsylvania Railroad began selling their locomotives, and 5898 was one of them. Amtrak was the one to purchase 5898, and it was rebuilt from a 567B engine to a 645B engine, and renumbered to 497. 

As the 1980s approached, 497 was sidelined and down for maintenance. The Blue Mountain and Reading railroad museum purchased 497 in 1985 and was later re-converted back to her original Pennsy colors and number. 5898 served with 5707, running excursions up and down their line with historic Pennsylvania Railroad coaches.

The St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway stepped forward in 1998 and purchased 5898 from the BM&R. As the years went by on the Iron Mountain, the paint began to fade from the engine. A fundraiser was organized in 2010 to repaint the locomotive, and in 2015 the locomotive was repainted to the original PRR maroon scheme. 5898 still operates to this day, pulling regular excursions to and from Gordonville along the 5 mile stretch of track.

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© 2023 by The Number 5 Conservation Project.