Will The 328 Roll Again?

Northern Pacific Class S-10 4-6-0 328 rests inside the pole barn at the Minnesota Transportation Museum’s Jackson Street roundhouse sans headlight on Saturday, August 25th, 2012. Her tender was parked out back. Photo by the author.

 

Restored to operation by the Minnesota Transportation Museum between 1976-1981 after being on display in the city of Stillwater since around 1950 thanks to the intervention of MTM predecessor Minnesota Railfans Association, the little NP ten-wheeler has roamed everywhere from the St. Croix River valley to southern Minnesota and many more places.   Her last regular service was on the MTM’s Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway from 1992 to 1999.   I first saw her in action there in 1998 during “Steamfest In The Valley” which saw two Soo Line steamers pay a visit: 2-8-2 1003 and 4-6-2 2719.   The grand finale: a steam triple header using all three engines!  (The year before 1003 had visited and doubleheaded with 328 too.)  Taken out of service for overhaul, the 328 has fallen into the ranks of many a steam locomotive waiting in limbo to return to steam.

Will the 328 roll again?   I’m afraid your guess is as good as mine.   Officially, the MTM says she is still under restoration; rumor mills have been rife that it will only be cosmetic due to costs, a crying shame if true.

It was still good to see her again, though.

Note: for more information about the NP 328, go here:     http://www.mtmuseum.org/jsr/roster/np328.php