SILVIS, ILLIONOIS – Central States Steam Preservation Association (CSSPA) and the Iowa Interstate Railroad partnered to make a final run of #6988 to transport her from the IAIS Newton Yard to the former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Steam Shop, now owned by Railroad Heritage of Midwest America (RRHMA). The FRA provided a special waiver to allow #6988 to make this final move under steam. On June 11, 2022, #6988 left the IAIS Newton Yard, which has been her home for more than a decade and traveled East to the RRHMA Steam Shop in Silvis, IL. On June 12, 2022 #6988 made one final excursion run from Silvis to Bureau, IL, and returned to take her new place at the shop.
This run marks the end of the first U.S. chapter for #6988. The Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) brought both #6988 and #7081 over from China in 2006, performed a full restoration, and put these two locomotives in service for the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS). In 2013, when IAIS decided not to continue the steam program, CSSPA was born, and was fully incorporated on August 6, 2014. For the past decade, CSSPA has maintained and operated both #6988 and #7081 and now takes on the added responsibility of fundraising to keep these locomotives in service.
CSSPA's intention for #6988 is to perform the FRA 15-year inspection once enough funds have been raised to begin the rebuild. For those who wish to assist with giving #6988 a second chapter in the U.S., CSSPA (a 501(c)(3) organization) is looking for donations, all of which will be used directly towards performing the rebuild and giving #6988 another 15 years of steam.