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Moving The 2903 / Hammond, Indiana Hot Spot

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Program 100
Moving the 2903 / Hammond, Indiana Hot Spot

In 1994, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry decided to revamp and update the pieces it had on display outside and move them indoors. One item was deemed to large for this was Santa Fe steam locomotive 2903. Built in 1944, the 2903 is the largest engine of its type in the world. It was donated to the museum in 1963. Moving it would require traversing a mile and a half through parks and city streets to reach real railroad track.

The Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois was awarded the engine on the condition they would move it and care for it in an appropriate manner. In early 1995, preparations for the move began. Beginning in February 1995, this program follows Kevin McCabe and the members of the Illinois Railway Museum as they prepared the locomotive and then actually move it through downtown Hyde Park.

The second portion of this program takes place in Hammond, Indiana. It involves a sampling of the train activity at the local Amtrak station. There is also a short segment taped at State Line Crossing, located about 5 miles south of the station.

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Santa Fe steam locomotive 2903 on display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. On this February, 1994 day, the ambient temperature is about 10F with a wind chill well into negative numbers.

Braving the bitter cold, members of the Illinois Railway Museum work to prepare the 2903 for its move the Union, Illinois.

Heading north along Lake Shore Drive, the 2903 begins the journey to Union, retracing the same route traveled in 1961, when it was originally moved to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Making the first of two turns in downtown Hyde Park.

A Conrail freight passes by the Hammond, Indiana Amtrak station, our featured Hot Spot.

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