DRGW History and Information  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

On Friday, 21-Apr-2006, Railroad Development Corporation of Pittsburgh made the startling announcement that they'd purchased two Chinese 2-10-2 Class QJ steam locomotives, with an option to purchase three additional units. The two units would arrive in the US and make their way to the Midwest - to RDC's own Iowa Interstate, where they would be reassembled and certified for operation on US rails. RDC intended to sell these units to American tourist haulers that were looking for reliable, modern steam at a bargain price. Consequently, most of us Iowa Interstate enthusiasts assumed they'd only see minor service - just enough to work the bugs out, get their FRA certification, and demonstrate their functionality to prospective buyers.

In late June, shortly after the arrival of the QJs on Iowa Interstate, solid rumors began to circulate that the two would be involved in a few excursions in the fall. On the 12th of July, the official news finally broke via Trains Magazine's online news, amongst other sites. In conjunction with RiverWay 2006 - celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first railroad bridge over the Mississippi (more history) - the two QJs would pull a number of excursions out of the Quad Cities, using personnel and equipment provided by the Friends of 261. Four trips would be run - a short dinner train run on Thursday night, 14-Sep... (Continued)

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