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Nostalgia & History > Celebrate ATSF 1880 - Newton, KS

Date: 07/01/05 15:05
Celebrate ATSF 1880 - Newton, KS
Author: buller

Here's the press release about an event in Newton, KS tomorrow some may be interested in.

NEWTON, Kan. - Fifty years ago, a group of Santa Fe railroaders laid
temporary rails to move the steam locomotive known as Engine 1880 from the
tracks on West Broadway to its permanent home in Military Park. Through the
years, the engine has become a beloved and well-known landmark in Newton,
symbolizing the town's rich railroad heritage.

But in 1989, the engine almost left town. Several retired railroaders who
heard the steam engine might be sold to a Texas amusement park staged a
grassroots campaign to help keep it in Newton. They also helped restore
Engine 1880 to her former glory.

On Saturday, July 2, 2005, the men who helped install Engine 1880 in the
park, as well as those who helped save it, will be recognized during a
special 50th anniversary event.

Engine 1880's 50th anniversary celebration will take place from noon to 2
p.m. in front of the locomotive at the corner of Broadway and Oak, following
a downtown parade that helps kick off Newton's Chisholm Trail Festival.

Built in 1907 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Pa., the 2-6-2
Prairie type ran over one million miles, mostly in central Kansas, before it
was retired.

When all of Santa Fe's great steam engines were being retired, Newton's
Junior Jaycees spearheaded the effort to secure the engine in 1955 by
selling $1 shares of "Short Line Railroad" stock. Engine 1880 had been in
retirement for two years and was sitting in the Emporia, Kan., rail yards
before it made its final trip to Newton, pulled behind scheduled freight
train Number 41.

Approximately six of the original engine installers survive. They, and more
than 125 of the railroaders' family members have been invited back for the
special event, which In case of inclement weather, the event will move to the old JC Penney
building at Sixth and Main.

In the Newton Public Library next door, there will be an exhibit of Engine
1880 memorabilia in the lobby and a continuous showing of a special
10-minute DVD documentary on Engine 1880 in the back of the building.

The DVD, produced by Tim Buller, will be available for sale at the Newton
Carriage Factory Art Gallery, one block south of the Engine and library.
Other commemorative items for sale at the gallery include Engine 1880 50th
anniversary caps and t-shirts. Copies of 8x10 black-and-white photos, which
show some of the railroaders in front of Engine 1880 after it was installed,
can be specially ordered at the gallery.

The gallery opens at 11 a.m. that day and will feature a special artists'
showing of Newton- and railroad-themed art by Mary Johnson, Carolyn
Loutzenhiser, Carolyne Seymore and Douglas Trowbridge, as well as an
operating O-gauge model railroad layout on the upper level. The Senseney
Music Wichita Community Band will perform an open-air concert in the gallery
park at 7 p.m., followed by a reception from 8 to 10 p.m.

Train lovers can also head out to Newton Factory Outlet and view a large
train layout that day, sponsored by Southern Kansas 3-Railers. The layout
covers nearly 3,000 square feet and has almost three scale miles of track.
will feature a half-hour ceremony, live music, engine
cab tours, a 1-foot gauge working train and photo displays. As a special
thank-you to the community for their patronage, Denny's Heating and Cooling
is providing free hotdogs and staging a hotdog-eating contest.

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