A Dream Comes True

| May/June 1987

Route 3 Valley Center, Kansas 67147

At some point in life, every man has probably dreamed of being a locomotive engineer. A few have made that dream come true and even fewer have had the privilege of operating a steam powered locomotive.

I am proud to say that I can be counted among the latter group. However, before I could run the locomotive, it had to be built.

This story really begins in August, 1984 while I was helping Tom Terning prepare for his annual steam show held on Labor Day weekend near Valley Center, Kansas. One day the conversation had turned to trains and steam locomotives, when the comment was made by someone that a train would make a nice addition to the show. Well, that was all it took to start the wheels turning in Tom's head.

During the next year a lot of ideas were kicked around about where a train could be found, how much it would cost, and how much work would be involved. The idea of building a train was even brought up; but at first, that seemed like a huge project. As time went on and more information was gathered, the idea of building a train sounded better each time we discussed the subject.

A week or so after the 1985 show, I was looking through a copy of Trains Magazine and found an advertisement about a 1925, 2-4-2 Baldwin locomotive for sale. The advertisement included a builders photograph, and a later photograph, as well as the diameter of the driving wheels.