Iowa Group to Restore 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive

By Justin Franz

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The American Industrial Railroad Society, a newly formed nonprofit group, announced this week that it has acquired an 0-4-0 locomotive built in 1913 and plans to return it to service. The locomotive, Indiana Northern Railway 4, has been moved to a restoration site in Davenport, Iowa, where volunteers are currently reassembling it.

The American Industrial Railroad Society was formed in 2020 when it purchased the Baldwin Locomotive Works product. The locomotive worked for the Indiana Northern at South Bend until 1948. The short line was only two miles long but had several notable customers including Studebaker and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company. The locomotive was later purchased by a gravel pit outside of St. Louis, where it ran until at least the late 1950s. The locomotive sat in the gravel pit for years before being moved to l Illinois for an ill-fated restoration attempt.

“Loco 4 is representative of the thousands of shunting locomotives that have helped keep the gears of industry in the United States turning for decades,” said Sam Aufmuth, president of the American Industrial Railroad Society. “It’s a perfect fit in AIRS’ missions, and by getting the engine running again, we aim to shine a light on the vital and often overlooked role that industrial railroads and railroad workers have played as connections to the last mile to the country’s economy.”

The group hopes that when the locomotive is back in service, it will visit various museums in the area.

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Some of the volunteers behind the The American Industrial Railroad Society’s effort to restore the Indiana Northern Railroad 4.

Jose P. Rogers