Chinese-built steam back on USA main line

‘QJ’ No. 6988 at Anita, Iowa on June 30 with one of three charity trips on that day which were heading west towards the town of Atlantic. No. 6988 is known as the ‘Iowa Bolt’. Photo: Keith Fender.

One of two Chinese-built ‘QJ’ 2-10-2 steam locos – based on the Iowa Interstate freight railroad – has been in action this summer operating short-distance day trips to raise funds and awareness for local fire departments in towns along the railroad’s route. 

Two ‘QJs’ (Nos. 6988 and 7081, built in 1985 and 1986, respectively) were imported into the USA in 2006, and are now operated via the ‘not-for-profit’ Central States Steam Preservation Association. 

Iowa Interstate provides track access and financial/logistical support for the charity trips as these support its day-to-day freight operations by enhancing relations with local communities.

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt