by Randy Scherkenbach
Photograph - Photograph
1630 was built in 1918 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for use in Russia as a class Ye locomotive. However, it, along with approximately 200 other locomotives, remained in the United States, due to the inability of the Bolshevik government to pay for them, following the Russian Revolution. 1630 was converted from 5' Russian track gauge to 4'8.5" Standard gauge. The St. Louis – San Francisco Railway used it as a mixed traffic engine. The locomotive was then sold to Eagle-Picher, who used it to haul lead ore from a mine to their smelter. In 1965, the locomotive was donated to the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, Illinois, where it began operating in 1973. 1630 was taken out of service in 2004, and after more than six years undergoing repairs and a federally mandated rebuild, it was returned to operational condition on October 30th 2013.  On Memorial Day weekend, 2014, the locomotive returned to excursion service.
October 21st, 2014
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