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Current status of GSMR Steam

A brief update on the status of Steam Operations at GSMR

October 29, 2012

Fellow Steam Patrons and Railroad Fans,

Please allow me this opportunity to provide a brief update on the status of Steam Operations at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

We continue to make progress with the $700,000 grant funding pledged from the Swain County Board of Commissioners and the formal Agreement is anticipated to be executed within the next two months.  The grant funding will be used specifically to rehabilitate Steam Locomotive #1702 and assist in the install of a turntable in downtown Bryson City directly across from the County Building.   

We are presently exploring the process of creating a support foundation for Steam Preservation at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and hope to have a “Friends of Steam at GSMR” association very soon.  Please follow our progress on the forming of a Friends group and we appreciate your continued support in this endeavor.   

Presently Steam Locomotives #1702 and #722 are in storage at our Dillsboro Locomotive Shop and a full inventory of mechanical parts is underway.  With our recent announcement of the rebirth of steam we have been contacted by and have been reaching out to Steam Mechanic Specialists to assist with rehabilitation project once all funding is in place.  We continue to dialogue and conduct interviews to find the best candidate to manage the rehab of #1702. Ideally we would like to have this in place by December so we can begin immediately once funding is available.

We continue to search for steam engine to lease to provide limited steam engine rides during the peak months of June, July, and August for the years 2013 and 2014. Thank you to those of you who provided many leads on potential available locomotives. It has been our desire to have a signed lease by this fall, but so far we have been unable to find a suitable engine that can be affordably placed in Bryson City. Any ideas you may have would be most helpful.  Please let us know your thoughts and comments. 

Best Wishes,

Al Harper

970-259-6505

alharper@durangotrain.com

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