Main.QJ History

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(:menulocation Motive Power:Steam:QJ History:)
[!The Iowa Interstate QJs!]

On Friday, 21 Apr 2006, Railroad Development Corporation of Pittsburgh made the startling announcement that they'd purchased two Chinese 2-10-2 Class QJ steam locomotives, with an option to purchase three additional units. Concurrent with the announcement, the first two units - 6988 and 7081 - were being loaded at China's Dalian port for shipment to the Port of Houston, TX. The two had already been completely overhauled to FRA standards by the Jinzhou 701 Works, under contract with [[http://www.multipowerinternational.com/ | Multipower International]], a US firm specializing in Chinese-made steam locomotives and parts.

6988 and 7081 arrived on American soil on Sunday, 11 Jun 2006, as they were unloaded at the Port of Houston. Since they had not yet been reassembled or inspected by the FRA, the two units, along with tenders, were loaded onto flatcars for the trip north to Rock Island. On Tuesday, 27 Jun 2006, the pair and their tenders arrived at the IAIS-BNSF interchange in Colona, IL. They were hauled back to the Rock Island yard, where over the course of the next five weeks, they were reassembled and prepared for the move to the railroad's yard in Iowa City for finishing work and FRA testing.

Once in Iowa City, a team of steam specialists began working to both get the two steaming again and to deal with the regulatory issues surrounding their FRA certification. The first signs of life came on Thursday, 24 Aug 2006, when Jerry Berwald reported to the Iowa Interstate list that both units had been loaded with coal. Over the next two weeks, both units would be brought back to life, steaming around the Iowa City area on short test runs. As sort of a final check, each performed a test run leading the westbound BICB from Iowa City out to [[Yocum Connection]], just past Homestead. Once past this step, they would each move as light power to Rock Island, where they'd be stored in preparation for the upcoming excursion runs.
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  Last modified on December 20, 2010, at 10:32 PM
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