Evanston owns a special historic steam engine that operated in our railyards as a switch engine for many years. The 0-6-0 steam locomotive was built in 1914 for the Union Pacific Railroad by Lima Locomotive Works in Ohio. The engine was retired in 1957 and was donated to the City of Evanston in 1958, where it originally went on display at the Uinta County courthouse.
On Aug. 7, the Evanston Historic Preservation Commission held a successful garage sale to begin to raise funds to move and restore to operating condition UP engine 4420 which is presently at the park near North Elementary. For years this engine has been deteriorating in the elements without protection or maintenance. It has been open for public display and access. Unfortunately, it has also been the site of several accidents when kids have fallen from the engine.
Engine 4420 is a historical treasure that deserves restoration and preservation. It has been seen and enjoyed by neighborhood families as a part of the park for many years. It is the intent of our commission to move the engine to the roundhouse, where it will be restored to operating condition and will then provide rides to Evanston citizens as well as tourists who visit the roundhouse and railyards.
We know it will be missed as a neighborhood icon, but it will be better purposed when fully operational. The commission has met with and discussed our preservation plan with the mayor, members of the city council, the parks and recreation district, and railroad old-timers who have all offered their full support in this effort.
This is not a small undertaking that can be accomplished in a few months. The move to the roundhouse will be expensive, requiring the use of cranes capable of lifting 150 tons at minimum. We have contracted with Wasatch Railroad Contractors out of Cheyenne to oversee the safe rigging and movement of the engine and tender.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 before the end of October. Tax deductible donations can be made to RRINC (a 501c3) at City Hall. We deeply appreciate any and all contributions made to this historic preservation project.
Project Chair Shelly Horne