223 Retirement Background

Joshua Bernhard's article regarding the history of #223 and the C-16’s is in the “Articles” menu section of this website. A smaller segment of Joshua’s article which specifically relates to the retirement odyssey of #223 between 1941 and 2010 is available for view CLICK HERE

Since 2010 the Golden Spike Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society continued to work on restoration that has been deemed "museum quality". The chapter's work has been documented on their website which is accessible through the included link: CLICK HERE

The Chapter was #223’s conservator and the members believed that the locomotive was undergoing a rebuild for the Utah State Railroad Museum based in Ogden. The Chapter members devoted countless volunteer man hours combined with fundraising efforts for #223’s restoration. Ogden provided shop space at the Union Station and had been an active supporter of the project from the beginning. What happened is uncertain, but it appears that as time went on, although the support from the greater Ogden community had remained since 1991, Ogden City lost interest regardless of the Chapter’s diligent efforts. Some may have believed Ogden City was the owner of the artifact, however the true title holder had always remained the Utah State Historical Society

In 2017, as the authority for #223’s conservation was coming to light, it appeared that Ogden would no longer support the project. Steve Jones, President of the Chapter, was concerned and tried to find a path forward. In 2019 the city of Ogden locked the Chapter out of the depot shops, only allowing access to those authorized by the Utah State Historical Society. This has precluded further progress by the Chapter and the greater narrow gauge historical community

The Chapter assessed their position at the time and decided that since the locomotive was disassembled and many items had been rebuilt, dealing with the status of the boiler would be the next project. The cost and logistics relating to a survey and rebuild were prohibitive under the circumstances of nonsupport from City and State agencies. The Chapter’s goal then focused on finding another avenue to continue the rebuild of #223.

Steve Jones approached John Bush, President of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, in 2019 to have the C&TSRR sponsor the rebuild of #223. John Bush surveyed the status of #223 along with a companion study performed by Stathi Pappas of Stockton Locomotive Works in 2021 and submitted a rebuild recommendation report to the Utah State Historical Society. The Golden Spike Chapter donated it's tools and equipment the C&TSRR and has reshaped their role to become the ‘Friends of the 223’.

The Utah State Historical Society is taking the lead role in solving the issues surrounding #223. Ownership issues still exist with #223 having a cloudy title. Salt Lake City still has some tile lien on #223. If the USHS can obtain clear title, they will be in a position to determine the future of #223.

Current Projects

The C16 Society along with the Golden Spike Chapter prepared a joint proposal to guide the restoration of #223. This proposal included the fundraising and logistical path forward for a complete operational rebuild of #223. The intentions are that since the locomotive is disassembled, a well-coordinated and well-funded operation would disperse the major parts to qualified contractors. Once these major components are rebuilt, they would be shipped to a rebuild facility. It is the hope that at that time the C&TSRR would be able to complete the final assembly.

This Joint proposal was submitted to the USHS in November of 2022. The C16 Society stands ready to participate with the USHS in determining an action plan for #223.