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Jackson's R.A. Greene Park locomotive sold to Pennsylvania railroad preservation trust

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 18:59:52-05

JACKSON, Mich. — A locomotive engine that has spent six decades in R.A. Greene Park on Jackson's northwest side will be departing for Pennsylvania.

Locomotive 5030 has a long and unique history.

“So, this engine was built in 1912 for the Grand Trunk railroad," said Jackson Historical Society President Maurice Imhoff. "After that, it was used as a passenger train all the way through the 1920s. In 1923, it suffered an accident where it was derailed including five people...there were five people killed two of those with being the engineers.”

It was gifted to the city of Jackson in the late 1950s.

The Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust out of Boyertown, Pennsylvania, now owns the decommissioned train after purchasing it for $50,000. Jackson City Council approved the sale at a meeting on Tuesday.

“They said this offer was contingent on the city not putting any more money into this because we definitely don’t have funds to restore the train. We definitely don’t have any extra funds for its removal," said city of Jackson Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick.

The locomotive will eventually get back on the rails.

Plans are to use it for tourist excursions in Pennsylvania.

“It’s really nice to see it kind of get back out and get some use and it’s really nice to see it get restored and maybe visit Jackson again one day," said Imhoff.

Yet, there's still work to do to get the train moving.

“It’s not going to be going away anytime soon," said Dimick. "That railway organization has to raise $2 million to restore the train but also move the train because it’s not as simple as putting it on the back of a truck. You actually have to build rail lines and connect it to a railroad to get it out of here.”

It will take at least five years for the locomotive to be restored to working order.