Norfolk Southern, NS 4041 GE AC44C6M leads an intermodal stack train around the World Famous Horseshoe Curve as Pennsylvania 7048 has been on display since 1985 at the park and just recently got a new coat of paint and is looking good! in Altoona, Pennsylvania on November 7, 2021.
This is a bit longer than what I usually share but very interesting.
In the early hours of October 8, 1983, The Loretto was badly damaged by arson. Two juveniles were charged with setting the fire, whose damage was estimated at $200,000. The Restore the Loretto Committee was formed to raise money to restore and preserve the railroad car.
Altoona’s city council later wondered whether a similar campaign could be organized for PRR 1361, an ailing K4 steam locomotive owned by the city and displayed at the Horseshoe Curve. Museum officials immediately lobbied for a role in the project. The city established the Horseshoe Curve Task Force to investigate the feasibility and costs of restoring No. 1361. In 1985, the Railroaders Memorial Museum was granted possession of the PRR 1361 on condition that a suitable replacement be provided to the Horseshoe Curve; Conrail subsequently donated PRR 7048, a GP9 diesel-electric locomotive, for the purpose. Pennsylvania State Representative Richard Geist announced that the museum would receive a $50,000 grant and a crew of state workers to move No. 1361 and begin a cosmetic restoration.
At the museum’s mortgage burning ceremony on September 28, 1985, Conrail chairman L. Stanley Crane announced that his company would pursue steam train excursions. “The K4 (1361) would be a very appropriate locomotive to do that with,” said Crane. The move was intended to put Conrail in step with other contemporaneous railroad operators during the company’s bid for public offering. Over the next two years, the engine was restored to working condition in Conrail’s Altoona railroad shops, but ran for just a year before bearing and axle failures sidelined it indefinitely. Inconsistent direction and financial issues at the museum hindered repairs to the steam engine. In 1996, the disassembled engine was sent for a complete restoration to Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Railroaders Memorial Museum ceased funding to the incomplete project in 2007. Pieces of the engine were divided for storage between the museum and East Broad Top Rail Road. The restoration was officially canceled by the museum in 2010. The failed restoration remains a controversial topic due to its lengthy history, technical errors, and use of state funds. -From Wikipedia