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Life in the Flathead Valley - Kalispell, MTLife in the Flathead Valley - Kalispell, MT
Libby Museum Buys Historic Train
Volunteers are working on restoring old locomotive
Volunteers in Libby work on their historic locomotive in 2012. - Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon.
Volunteers in Libby are a little closer to seeing their old steam train move down the tracks. This month, International Paper Company sold historic “Shay” locomotive number 4 to the Heritage Museum.

Since 2011, the Libby museum has been rebuilding the locomotive – built in 1906 and used by the J. Neils Lumber Company. Although the engine has been at the museum for decades, it wasn’t owned by the group, a fact realized last summer when a volunteer was looking through old paper work. The museum reached out to the owner, International Paper, and the company decided to sell the old train for $1.

“Receiving the title to the locomotive from (International Paper) has freed the museum to proceed with the restoration of its Shay to working condition,” the group wrote in a press release.

According to the press release, a state boiler inspector has reviewed the locomotive and identified areas that need work. Volunteers hope to have the engine steamed up this summer.
For more information, see the Flathead Beacon’s 2012 story about the restoration.
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