STEAM IS NOT DEAD IN CHICAGO

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Engineer Billy M. Byrd of Madisonville on Ex. G.T.W. 5629. Courtesy of Billy M. Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madisonville, Kentucky 42431
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Ex Grand Trunk Western Locomotive 5629, on Fan Trip. Chicago & South Bend, Indiana on September 17, 1967. Courtesy of Billy M. Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madisonville, Kentucky 42431
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Now here is a man you see just about anywhere they steam up an engine. He always has his big apple pealer and he puts on a good show no matter where. He looks like he's in jail here but I don't guess he was in the clink many times. He is Mr. Melvin Lutgen
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This engine belongs to Miss Helen Wood. Wood Bros, engine 22 hp. No. 426, built in 1917 in Des Moines, Iowa. Miss Wood's father and uncle were the builders of this engine and many other good engines and threshers. Miss Wood bought this engine in memory of
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Asel is threshing this year and Charlie is running the engine! Threshing about 4 miles west of Wheeling, West Virginia at the Gabel Farm. This 20 hp. Reeves is making a Jerome Case Separator sing as it chews up the oats sheaves and blows the bright straw
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This photo was taken August 20, 1915, at the McCoy Farm in Archer Township, Harrison County. Chester Busby holding the horses, Vern Mattern on tank and Sherman Busby on drive wheel. Age 19 at that time. Courtesy of Raymond Laizure, RFD 3, Cadiz, Ohio 4390

369 S. Harrig St. Madisonville, Kentucky 42431

Saturday September 16 and Sunday September 17, 1967 brought back
many memories for I helped steam up and I fired a real steam
locomotive, Ex Grand Trunk 4-6-2 No. 5629, privately owned by Mr.
Richard Jensen of Chicago who is head of the Mid-West Steam
Railfans Association. Locomotive 5629 was built by American
Locomotive Company at Schenectady, New York in 1924. At that time
she was the finest motive power that money could buy for passenger
service and was assigned to the Grand Trunk Railroad’s fastest
passenger Limiteds. She has the exact specifications of the L &
N’s K-5, 270 series engines, the only exceptions are the 5629
has a standard stoker instead of a Hanna and a Worthington
feed-water heater. The engine was one of five built at the time and
numbered 5627 to 5631. The other four have long since been scrapped
and the 5629 would have followed the same fate if it had not been
purchased by Mr. Jensen several years ago. Space is rented in the
Chicago and Western Indiana RR 51st Roundhouse on the south side of
Chicago for storage and work. 5629 is maintained by local railfans
and experienced steam railroad men who share the fascination of
what has been called man’s most appealing mechanical creation.
The engine is brought out each summer for a few excursion
operations.

On Saturday AM Railbuff Sid Loving and I caught Train No. 54 to
Chicago. We were met by Mr. Jensen and taken to the roundhouse,
where preparations were made to get engine 5629 under steam.
Everything was being checked out before taking her on a shakedown
run as she had been sitting idle for about three months. A hostler
backed C & W I Engine 256 next to 5629 and an especially
constructed steam pipe was connected to 5629’s blower. In no
time the steam gauge hand had started climbing to 200 pounds. When
she was ready Engineer T. R. (Bud) Young at the throttle, myself
operating the stoker and feed water pump and with owner Jensen, the
C & W I Master Mechanic and Mr. Loving in the cab, Engine 5629
moved out of the roundhouse onto the turn table, then out to the
main line of the C & W I to Hammond, Indiana, about 25 miles.
At the sound of 5629’s whistle and exhaust, people came running
to the track side to see what lots of folk thought they would never
see again. Every time we had to stop for a red signal, we would
check the bearings and bushings to see that they were running
cool.

The right bottom crosshead gib was running hot. After liberal
amounts of oil on it we got back to Chicago, where it was taken off
and machined down. Next morning (Sunday) Mr. Loving and I boarded
the 5629 at the roundhouse with Grand Trunk Engineer Young and
Fireman Hamdey Alley and backed down to Dearborn Station where we
coupled on to 21 cars. A baggage car next to the engine for tape
recording equipment, 19 coaches and a private car belonging to
Insurance Executive Robert Hogan on the rear end. At 9:05 A.M. the
conductor pulled the bell cord . Engineer Young blew the whistle,
turned on the bell and opened the throttle. Engine 5629 started the
train with no effort. There is a pretty good grade from Dearborn
Station to 51st Street, but it is no nonsense as the 4-6-2 proves
her ability to handle a passenger train with ease. The sounds of
her exhaust can be heard rebounding from nearby buildings and
railroad cars on sidings. With green signals the Pacific
accelerates on her way to South Bend, Indiana. Engineer Young is
enjoying, as much as I am, every minute of it. He has the throttle
set and is gradually hooking her up. He is kept busy blowing the
whistle for the many crossings.

The stoker is set at 20 pounds pressure, the jets are set, feed
water pump working, a brownish haze is coming from the stack, the
water level stays at glass and the steam gauge is fastened on 200
pounds. Mile posts pass faster and faster, the sharp barking of the
exhaust begins to blend together in a roar as our speed continues
to increase. The whistle is barely audible above the sounds of the
engine as we speed further away from Chicago. I check my watch by
the mile post 73 M.P.H. At every town hundreds of people are there
to see us go through and at every road crossing people are lined up
taking photos, movies and tape recordings. Personally I felt as if
I had the world by the tail. At Valparaiso. Indiana, on both going
and return trip 5629 was watered by the City Fire Department. She
performed perfectly and when we arrived at Dearborn Station that
night, though very tired, I wouldn’t have taken anything for
it. The steam locomotive is a machine of fond remembrance that will
not soon be forgotten. Mr. Jensen is to be commended for making it
possible for we steam lovers to see and hear one once more. He also
owns Ex Burlington 4-8-4 5632, Ex Burlington 2-8-2 4963 and Ex
Georgia Northern – Crabtree Coal Mine 4-6-0 102, There were over
1400 people from sixteen states riding on this fan trip.

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