WASHINGTON — The city of Cheyenne, Wyo., has received a federal grant for more than $600,000 to support renovation of historic rail equipment.
The $618,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency, is intended to support local tourism. It will be matched by $154,600 in local funds. Cheyenne says the project will create nine jobs and generate $500,000 in local development.
The equipment, currently located in the Union Pacific yard in Cheyenne and in the city’s Lions Park, would be moved to city-owned property adjacent to the city’s railroad station for “display as historic artifacts or use as space for retail, dining, or small business use,” according to a city council resolution. They would be part of a larger project, the “Cheyenne Railroad Visitor Experience,” supported by the council [see “Cheyenne, Wyo., makes plans for rail-oriented tourist project,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 25, 2021].
While the grant announcement and a city of Cheyenne press release refer to “historic railcars,” the equipment involved is actually a locomotive, passenger car, and caboose. Union Pacific 4-6-0 No. 1242, built in 1890 by Cooke Locomotive & Machine Works of Patterson, N.J.,was retired in 1954 and is currently in Lions Park. Southern Pacific car 7077 is a former heavyweight observation car later used in maintenance-of-way service. And Union Pacific steel cupola caboose No. 812 dates to 1959. The latter two pieces of equipment are currently in UP’s Cheyenne yard.
“This EDA investment in the Cheyenne Railcar Renovation Project leverages the region’s railroad heritage to diversify its local economy and spur economic development,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo said in a press release.
The grant is part of a $240 million Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program under the American Rescue Plan.
— Revised and updated June 19 to reflect information on equipment involved.