Examiner Enterprise

Council hears about train locomotive

By Jessica Miller E-E City Editor
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 11:34 AM CDT

A resolution pertaining to the Santa Fe Locomotive No. 940 Preservation Fund was amended by the Bartlesville City Council last night.

The amendment was brought before the council by Capt. Jay Hastings of the Bartlesville Police Department, who was requesting the amendment to broaden the scope of the fund to accept donations for repairing, rehabilitating, maintaining and restoring the locomotive.

"I don't want the engine to be moved up there and just sit,"" Hastings said, referring to the planned move of the locomotive from near Johnstone Park to the Santa Fe Depot.

The fund was originally set up for removing asbestos from the locomotive but is empty. The asbestos was removed in 1994 through a bond issue.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the resolution. Councilor Erin Tullos was not in attendance of the meeting.

Dan Droege, a representative of the Discovery 1 Project Team, spoke about the planned move of the locomotive, its history and fundraising.

According to Droege, construction of a visitor center is planned for the approximate current location of the locomotive. He said moving the locomotive not only opens up the space around the Discovery 1 Park and the new Nellie Johnstone Well "but we will be able to put it close to the depot where so many visitors now come to find out about Bartlesville, and there will be this beautiful locomotive right next to it."

The locomotive is the sole survivor of the "2-10-2 Santa Fe Type" engines, Droege said. He explained that is the wheel arrangement and there were 342 locomotives with that wheel arrangement built for the Santa Fe Railroad. The locomotive was retired in 1954, after operating in Bartlesville and many other areas across the country.

The railroad offered the locomotive to the City of Bartlesville, which purchased it for $1.

One goal of the move is to get the locomotive out of the flood plain. According to Droege, the locomotive has some deterioration on the bottom of it from floodwater but it's not significant.

He said the plan is to create a new venue for it just north of the depot.

Droege said the move has already been funded through a silent fundraising campaign - which collected $86,000. He said, assuming everything goes according to planned, a more visible fundraising campaign will be conducted in the future to fund other items like lighting and cosmetic restoration of the engine.

Tom Birkett spoke on moving the locomotive. He said a track would be built to place the locomotive on at its new location. He said the move would be made with the use of a crane and trailers.

Councilor Vic Holcomb questioned whether the move would overload the streets.

Birkett said he had consulted with Terry Lauritsen, City of Bartlesville director of Engineering, and understood that it shouldn't be an issue.