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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Missouri tourist railroad restores former Pennsylvania E8 to classic pinstripe scheme (with video)

Missouri tourist railroad restores former Pennsylvania E8 to classic pinstripe scheme (with video)

By Steve Smedley | September 26, 2022

St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern acquired diesel in 1998

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Side view of maroon streamlined diesel locomotive with gold stripes
Side view of maroon streamlined diesel locomotive with gold stripes
St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway E8 No. 5898 brings its train back to the depot in Jackson, Mo., on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Steve Smedley

JACKSON, Mo. — Tourist operator St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway has repainted its former Pennsylvania Railroad E8, No. 5898, in the classic Pennsy pinstripe livery.

The locomotive, built by EMD in La Grange, Ill, in 1951, was purchased from the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad in 1998.

Since 2020, the engine has been stripped and repainted after hours of sanding and body work. A template for a new Pennsy nose emblem has been made and will be hand-painted in the near future, and new number boards are being fabricated. It has been repainted using Imron paint, which is expensive but tends to hold up better than other paints.

Passenger train with maroon locomotive passes green caboose
St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway No. 5898 and its passenger train passes a former Illinois Central caboose modified with a cage to aid employees while doing tree trimming. Steve Smedley

The 2,250-hp passenger locomotive has two 567C prime movers and six axles in an A1A-A1A configuration, with center idler axles to provide a smoother ride. It is not out of place in Missouri, since the PRR operated passenger trains into St. Louis Union Station in the pre-Amtrak era.

The 5-mile-long tourist line, about two hours south of the St. Louis metropolitan area, is an all-volunteer operation operating on the Jackson branch of the original SLIM&R, which hauled ore from mines to the St. Louis area. Founded in 1874, it merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1971.

The current tourist line began operation in 1986 and runs themed events year-round. Engineer Jim Greathouse of Belleville, Ill., celebrated his 66th birthday Saturday by operating two trips with No. 5898. The first featured a James Gang train robbery, followed by a picnic where passengers could visit with the robbers; the second was a 6 p.m. Murder Mystery train.

More information on the railroad is available at its website.

— Updated Sept. 27 at 7:50 a.m. CDT with re-edited video.

7 thoughts on “Missouri tourist railroad restores former Pennsylvania E8 to classic pinstripe scheme (with video)

  1. Wonderful. PRR forever. However, A1A trucks were used to spread the weight and stay within axle loading limits. But they most certainly ride like Pullmans! Then again Blomberg had worked for Pullman.

  2. Maybe this is a factor of color distortion of reds in modern film, but the engine looks to be magenta more than Tuscan red.

  3. I agree with James, the color seems off. I was involved with the original restoration of this and the 5706 in the 80’s. Besides not having fingerprints for awhile from scrubbing all those stainless grills with brillo pads, my fingernails were red for weeks. Amerflint paint is tough stuff. That’s not the color I remember on my fingers.

    1. Back in the ’80’s the RBM&N had a pair of PRR F’s they used with a set of DL&W electrics demotored for excursions off-line. In 1987 I had ridden and then chased that trainset on a Buffalo-WS Bypass-Lyons-Corning-Warsaw-Buffalo trip. Those cars rode beautifully on the NYC Main at 72mph–until CR management heard about it and slapped a 35mph speed restriction on the train! I came across the two locomotives in a dead line in 1992 on the RBM&N someone. Whatever became of them? Using Google Earth I’ve tried to find where that was but in 30 years things change..not like they used to!

  4. Back in the late 50’s, I worked my college co-op job with the PRR. And I had many trips to work assignments on the two routes from Cincinnati, some back in a P70 coach and some standing in the cab of an E8. In the coach, you had to hang on if you were walking but in the E8, I used to say, a gymnast could balance and have NO problems. Some thoughts that the mass of the loco made the difference but those Blomberg trucks are what I think made the difference.
    And that is one beautiful paint job. Now all thay need is the KEYSTONE on the front.

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