JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. Sugar Corp. is interested in purchasing and returning to service an Atlantic Coast Line steam locomotive currently on display in Jacksonville, reports the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Locomotive No. 1504, a P-5-A 4-6-2 class built by Alco in 1919, would be declared surplus by the city council, which would also revoke its landmark status and transfer title to the North Florida chapter of the National Railway History Society. The organization would sell the locomotive for $50,000 to US Sugar’s Sugar Express railroad operation, which would use it for a tourist train operation on US Sugar’s Clewiston, Florida-based operation. Proceeds from the sale would support rail preservation projects and scholarships to send students. of Duval County, Florida at NHRS Rail Camp, a week-long program that teaches high school students about the history, preservation, maintenance and operation of railroads.
The locomotive is currently on display outside the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, the former Jacksonville station named after a former CSX Chairman and CEO.
“Our members have been stewards of ACL 1504 for many years, working to keep it painted and doing what we can to prevent further deterioration when exposed to the elements,” the chapter president said. North Florida, John Holmgren, in a statement. “We recognize that the best way to preserve this locomotive is to restore it to working order and keep it safe, and we are delighted that this opportunity with Sugar Express does both.”
Sugar Express already has one steam locomotive in service, the former Florida East Coast 4-6-2 No. 148, which recently ran on the last train of the cane harvest season on May 31. [see “U.S. Sugar to use steam locomotive …,” Trains News Wire, May 28, 2021].