STEAM EXCURSIONS CURRENTLY NOT SCHEDULED
Updated June, 2023:
Plans were in place to run the #332 steam engine last summer after having to take several years off due to the pandemic. A last minute inspection discovered a mechanical problem with the suspension that prevented the engine from operating under Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) guidelines.
The work of the volunteer Steam Team and Frasier Shipyards had brought the engine to perfect running order with the exception of two cracked leaf springs. While service is our passion, safety is our top priority.
This May, with the help of Frasier Shipyard, the engine was jacked up and the compression on the two sets of springs was released so the two cracked pieces could be safely removed. They were sent to “S & S Spring” in Pine City where they will be replaced. Then the two new leafs will be inserted and the engine lowered back down compressing the springs.
While this work is still in progress, the Steam Team has removed the boiler portion of the steam jacket and are inspecting all the stay bolts and replacing the stay bolt caps as necessary. Then the insulation and jacket will be replaced. Other work already accomplished by Frasier Shipyard was a repair to the firebox door.
Once the suspension has been repaired, the stay bolts and boiler jacket reassembled, the engine will be ready for service. Everyone from the museum and railroad have been working very hard on the #332 and are looking forward to a series of break-in and training runs later this year, with hopeful public excursions either later this season or next year.
History of the locomotive:
The #332 locomotive was built by the Pittsburgh Locomotive Works in 1906 for the Duluth, Missabe and Northern. A typical drag freight consolidation type engine of the early 1900s, she weighs in at 102 tons (172 tons with tender loaded). The capacity of the tender is 8,000 gallons of water and 12 tons of coal.
No. 332 was sold to the Duluth & North Eastern in 1955, and got its #28 numbering and was used to haul logs, lumber products and some general freight. It worked in this service until 1964 and was last under steam in 1965. The D&NE restored and donated the locomotive to the Museum in 1974.
In the Fall of 2013, a restoration project began to bring the engine back to operating condition. It operated for the first time in 2017 on the North Shore Scenic Railroad as #28, and was renumbered/painted to be its original #332 for the 2019 season.