THE PERE MARQUETTE 1225 was lifted from its axles and wheel assemblies on Monday, Feb. 28 at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso. The historic maneuver took numerous hours of careful planning and even more hours in action with due consideration given to the precious steam locomotive as it was essentially separated from the undercarriage for the first time in over seventy years.

   The 30-tons of drivers, axles and wheel assemblies will be rebuilt by FMW Solutions over the next several months, assuring decades of future use of the great steam locomotive. 

   The 1225 is cherished by the Shiawassee County community and people from all over the world who visit Owosso to enjoy SRI and the locomotive.

(Courtesy Photo)

 

    The Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) has retained FMW Solutions to perform critical wheel and running gear work on Pere Marquette steam locomotive No. 1225. Underwritten by recent grants and generous donations, the work saw the 1225 lifted and its 30-tons of drivers, axles, and wheel assemblies removed. They will be rebuilt by FMW. This will be the most extensive running gear work performed on the locomotive since before it was retired in 1951. 

   “This project is all about sustainability,” shared Steve Wasiura, Superintendent of Facilities & Railroad Operations for SRI. “1225 has been a reliable performer throughout its excursion career and this work will keep it running for decades more. At FMW, we found partners who share our passion for preservation while understanding what it takes to keep steam-era railroading alive in 2022 and beyond. We are thrilled to be working with them!” 

   “The 1225 has emerged as an icon in our industry and one of the few large mainline steam engines with a regular operating schedule, which puts a unique kind of demand on a machine that’s 80 years old,” stated Shane Meador, Vice President of Mechanical for FMW Solutions. “We’re looking forward to assisting SRI in getting thousands of miles more out of this machine.” 

   The 1225 joins the lineup of over a half dozen steam locomotives in the United States for which FMW has performed work or is currently under contract, including the restoration of United States Sugar Corporation No. 148; Former Atlantic Coast Line No. 1504 for the United States Sugar Corporation, Pennsylvania Railroad No. 1361 at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum; Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis No. 576; Western Maryland Scenic Railroad No. 1309, among others. FMW is also responsible for the marketing, operations, and passenger car restoration for Sugar Express. 

   The Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven educational organization dedicated to preserving steam era equipment and the skills needed to maintain and operate it. In addition to Pere Marquette 1225, SRI also operates a growing fleet of historic passenger equipment and is restoring another steam locomotive, Chicago & North Western 175, to operation. Visit michigansteamtrain.com for more information on how you can help keep steam railroading alive for future generations. 

   FMW Solutions and its subsidiary National Rail Consulting Group offer a suite of professional services for the railroad industry, including mechanical and engineering design, diesel locomotive servicing and repair, rail operations, strategic planning support, marketing, public relations, safety compliance administration, training and alternative fuel technology research and development. FMW is also an accomplished rail preservation resource, with expertise in the restoration and operation of historic equipment. For more on FMW Solutions, to request a quote, proposal or to explore opportunities for your railroad operation, visit fmwsolutions.com, email info@fwmsolutions.com or call (423) 425-9753.

Historic Undertaking at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso was last modified: March 8th, 2022 by Karen Elford