Aug 29, 2020
there is pic and video of mark twain zepher being moved to wisconson for restoration.
it on facebook
This is going to be a very exciting project. The Wisconsin Great Northern tourist route bought the train. Trains had an article a few months ago about the potential purchase. I just read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article; in the slide show, the train has a WGN decal on the nose, so it looks like the restoration has begun. It will be interesting to see if they plan to restore it to an as-built configuration of if they will modernize it for their own uses. Either way, a running Zephyr will be groundbreaking. I don't think the Nebraska Zephyr at IRM has the same magic as the early sets like the Pioneer or Mark Twain.
The one thing I wish they could pull off, but probably won't, is a running Winton 201. There are only a few left, none of which are in running order. Having a Zephyr with an original prime mover would be crazy. The closest we could feasibly get is a 567.
Winton's weren't all that great in their era, to put one in a OPERATING restoration is asking for trouble. If the restoration is for display only then the Winton would be OK.
I think restoring a train of this age is a bit of uncharted territory. I don't know of any comparable-age locomotives still in running order. The pre-SC switchers are of similar age and some exist, but I don't know if they run. I think some concessions will have to be made in their Zephyr restoration; I don't think the original prime mover even exists anymore. The photos of the inside look pretty empty. Modernization is inevitable for reliable operation, but it would be cool to have a completely stock Zephyr to hear what they really sounded like.
The only source for a Winton 201 would be to take it out of another preserved locomotive. I don't think there are any just 'sitting around'.
Does anyone have links to current photos?
The Flying Yankee has a CAT engine installed. I haven't heard much lately about the Yankee but at least it wasn't tubed. The MT was trashed by former owners who had just enough money to ruin it. I think restoration is out of the question, perhaps a repurposing, it's still a 4-5 million dollar project. Its been a black hole for cash for nearly two decades because of well intentioned but incompetent owners. Not unlike 100s of private passenger cars.
I was actually just on the phone with the mover guy. He will be moving another piece or 2 soon in our area.
last peice moved yesterday mark twain facebook page has pics and video. they plan on installing engine out of sw1 in to it. i think it will run in excursion service there
new windows have ben installed. lots of work being done so they can work in winter. will be nice when done. there is a mark twain zephyr news page on facebook, railroad web site, and you tube all have history and updates
It seems like more of a reconstruction than a restoration. I would have liked to see the build more true-to-original. I watched the latest video, and the discussion over blinds vs drapes makes it seem like they are not following what the prototype did. With the new baseboard electric heating and catalog light fixtures, the train is more 'Zephyr-inspired' than actual Mark Twain Zephyr.
I guess it makes sense; the train was gutted, they didn't have much to go off of. I can only imagine the costs to rebuild everything the way it was in the 1930's and 40's. It may fit their business plan better with an updated interior though. I understand they do dinner trains and other tours like that.
Either way, it will be exciting to see it run. Even if I don't like the interior, it would be cool to railfan. This truly is a historic project.
tom sawyer has lights and wood trim being installed looks nice
they are realy cominnextg along with obs car i think diner is next. truck has been started
Anyone have a source for some progress photos?
mark twain zepher has a facebook page and has updates on you tube, as well as there own web page
work on tucks still going diner coming along lots of progress being made