North Pole Express to be powered by diesel locomotives in 2022
“These components have not been completely inspected, refurbished, and replaced since the 1940′s, and it is work that definitely needed to be done.”
OWOSSO, Mich. (WILX) - A famous Michigan steam engine will be replaced in 2022. The North Pole Express, a four-hour holiday event that includes a ride in a steam locomotive, will be instead be powered by a more modern diesel engine while the steam engine undergoes repairs.
The Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) is dedicated to educating the public about steam-era railroading in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. They said that their running gear for their North Pole Express steam engine, Pere Marquette 1225, will be under repair for the remainder of the season.
Dean Pyers is the Executive Director for SRI.
“In spite of the best efforts of our staff, contractors, and material suppliers, we will not have Pere Marquette 1225 reassembled and ready to run for the North Pole Express season this year,” Pyers said in a release. “We did explore steam replacements for 1225, but none of those plans were feasible, either. So, this year’s North Pole Express trips will be powered using leased diesel locomotives from Precision Locomotive Leasing & Sales, LLC.
Pyers acknowledged that the repairs would be inconvenient for steam engine enthusiasts, but said they were long overdue.
“We are in the midst of a major rebuild of Pere Marquette 1225′s running gear,” Pyers said. “These components have not been completely inspected, refurbished, and replaced since the 1940′s, and it is work that definitely needed to be done. While this news may be disappointing, the work that will be completed on PM 1225 will ensure it will be in excellent operating condition for many years to come.”
SRI said the on-board experience on both the North Pole Express trains and in the Village of Ashley’s “Country Christmas” will otherwise be the same.
Pyer said, “We also intend to have PM 1225 on a display track near our Visitor’s Center in Owosso for our guests to photograph before or after boarding the train.”
- National Blood Donation Week kicks off in Lansing
- ‘It’s a hotspot’ - Michigan sees need for cybersecurity workers
Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.
Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.