Dawson County Historical Museum gears up for several summers of locomotive restoration | Latest titles


The 1956 move consisted of lying on the railroad tracks across Highway 30, and the locomotive crossed the highway three times while being maneuvered into position.

In 1978, the city of Lexington transported the locomotive to the Dawson County Historical Museum on the condition that the old steam engine be relocated. Several ideas were thought up on how to do this, including extending rails to the museum on Highway 30 and Taft Street.

In 1979, the president of the Historical Society, Henry Orthman, contacted Butch and Gary Williams of Hastings, who were moving home and had moved a locomotive to Kearney that year.

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The move to the museum took several steps, including moving the Willow Island depot to the museum grounds to serve as a backdrop for the locomotive and its tender load. Prior to the move, Union Pacific crews painted and welded to partially restore the 485 engine.

The painting was to cover a quarter of a decade of exposure to inclement weather, the exuberance of youth, and a bit of vandalism.

In November 1980, the 485 engine was lifted off the rails by two 75-ton eight-wheel jacks. He was then beamed, shackled and propped onto an overweight trailer. The two semi-trailers carrying the locomotive and its annex were guided by local law enforcement, going so slowly, “that it even registered on the speedometer,” recalled a person involved in the move. .

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Patrick F. Williams