Behind The Scenes Trains LIVE Trains LIVE — AIRS and No. 4

Trains LIVE — AIRS and No. 4

By Nastassia Putz | January 18, 2023

| Last updated on March 20, 2024

Meet the American Industrial Railroad Society and their small locomotive project

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Trains LIVE: AIRS and No.4 — 1-18-2023 — Is bigger better? Can a small steam locomotive generate excitement like Union Pacific No. 4014 — Big Boy? Some would say not, but the members of the American Industrial Railroad Society are excited about the small — 0-4-0 — steam locomotive they are restoring to operation. This is Trains LIVE. AIRS and No. 4.

AIRS is dedicated to preserving and telling the stories of small U.S. industrial railroads. These are the tiny roads that lugged gravel out of pits, moved grain around big elevators, and switched large industries. They were the “first mile, last mile” carriers of early 1900s.

The group is working to rebuild Indiana Northern No. 4, a Baldwin locomotive dating to January 1913. The restoration is proceeding in an orderly plan of small steps. Currently work is being completed on the cab and evaluating the boiler.

AIRS is also an interesting group in another respect — they are young. You would think an organization restoring a steam locomotive would be advanced in age. AIRS members are generally under 35. In fact, Sam Aufmuth, AIRS president, is 23 years old. The members have solid trade experience and are also fulfilling their mission by learning as they move through the restoration.

Come along. Trains LIVE — AIRS and No. 4.


Trains LIVE is a regular video segment, recorded live and unscripted from Kalmbach Media. The series began in July 2022.

Trains LIVE features Bob Lettenberger, Trains associate editor, Kalmbach Media staff, and guests talking about railroads and trains in a casual, behind the scenes format. On Trains LIVE we will ask the questions you would like to ask and take you into places not normally open to the public. Trains LIVE also takes you on the road to museums, trackside locations and other railroad-related venues. It is unscripted and presented every other Wednesday at 2 p.m. Central time.

If you have questions or comments, please log-in and leave a comment in the area at the bottom of the page. We will attempt to answer questions during future episodes.
All aboard! It’s time for Trains LIVE!

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