By Railfan & Railroad Staff
The Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad will run Santa Fe 4-6-2 3415 for one more year after the group “discovered” that the locomotive still had 12 months to operate before a federally-mandated overhaul needs to occur.
“We’re elated at the news,” said A&SV President and General Manager Ross Boelling on a Facebook post. “We are the only operating steam railroad in Kansas and are happy to schedule more trains this coming season with Santa Fe locomotive 3415 providing the power.”
Formed in 1993, Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad operates a mix of historic equipment and motive power on former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific track between Abilene and Enterprise, Kan. The railroad has been operating 3415 since 2009.
Steam locomotives are required by the Federal Railroad Administration to be overhauled every 15 years. The A&SV thought that meant 2022 would be the last year they could use the steam locomotive, but recently the FRA alerted the group that they actually had one more year to run. The steam locomotive is expected to run multiple weekends this summer starting Memorial Day Weekend. A full schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The railroad is still raising money for the locomotive’s eventual overhaul. Donations can be made through the A&SV website or by sending a check to the railroad’s office at 200 SE 5th Street, Abilene, KS 67410.