News & Reviews News Wire QJ makes last trips before rebuilding

QJ makes last trips before rebuilding

By Bob Lettenberger, Trains Associate Editor | June 13, 2022

A special FRA waiver allowed No. 6988 to move under steam

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black Chinese built steam locomotive racing across farmland
Iowa Interstate Railroad Chinese-built,  QJ 2-10-2 No. 6988 races along U.S. Route 6 east of Ladora, Iowa on 11 June 2002 during its move from Newton, Iowa to Silvis, Ill. for inspection and rebuilding. Bob Lettenberger


SILVIS, Ill. — Chinese-built No. 6988, a QJ 2-10-2, traveled the Iowa Interstate Railroad on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 2022, for a final time before its FRA 15-year inspection and rebuilding. Although the locomotive’s certification has expired the FRA granted a one-time extension for the two trips.

The QJs — Nos. 6988 and 7081 — have been based at Iowa Interstate’s Newton, Iowa, facilities. On June 11, No. 6988 moved from Newton to Silvis, Ill. Inspection and rebuilding will take place in the former-Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad shop complex, which recently became the home of Railroading Heritage or Midwest America/The Friends of the 261 [see “Friends of the 261/Railroading Heritage of Midwest America to expand to Silvis shop complex,” Trains News Wire, May 26, 2022]. On June 12, No. 6988 pulled an excursion train from Silvis to Bureau Junction, Ill. and back.

The Central States Steam Preservation Association, a non-profit, volunteer organization, will now begin the rebuilding process, which is expected to take several years.

Nos. 6988 and 7081 are part of 4,712 locomotives of the 2-10-2 wheel arrangement built in China between 1959 and 1988. Although built in China, the design can be traced to American locomotives — 2-10-4s from Alco and 2-10-2s from Baldwin. These locomotives were delivered to the Soviet Union in 1931. The Soviets shared the drawings with the Chinese in the 1950s.

6 thoughts on “QJ makes last trips before rebuilding

  1. Umm, so how did two American design knockoff Chinese built within the last 50 or 60 year steam locomotives end up in Iowa??

  2. What kind of rebuilding are we talking about? Reading rebuilt 30 2-8-0’s and they emerged as 4-8-4’s. B&O rebuilt 2-8-2’s and got 4-8-2’s.

    Or are we talking about an overhaul including 1472 day?

    1. Oh come on. We can do better! SL-SF and IC rebuilt 2-10-2s into 4-8-2s.

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