The Alaska Community Foundation and Engine 557 Restoration Company proudly announce the receipt of two grants in support of the restoration of former Alaska Railroad steam locomotive #557.
Special thanks to the Kenai Mountains – Turnagain Arm Corridor Communities Association for their generous $10,000 grant award. The Kenai Mountains – Turnagain Arm Corridor Communities Association was established in 2009 to recognize, preserve, and interpret the historic resources and cultural landscapes of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm transportation corridor. Upon the restoration of Engine 557, the locomotive will operate on a regular schedule through the historic transportation corridor between Anchorage and Portage, its whistle echoing from the bluffs above the Alaska Railroad and across Turnagain Arm.
The second grant came from the National Railway Historical Society, who selected Engine 557 Restoration Company as one of its 2014 National Railway Heritage grantees. NRHS was established in 1936 and now has more than 140 local chapters. It is both the nation’s leading advocate for U.S. rail preservation and largest rail preservation and historical society. The grant will fund the purchase of boiler stay bolts, a vital step in the locomotive’s restoration to operating condition.
Railroads have played such an important role in shaping Alaska. ACF is proud to sponsor this project as it restores locomotive #557 to working conditions. We are excited that Alaskans will soon have the opportunity to ride on a piece of our shared history.
Candace Winkler, ACF President and CEO
The Engine 557 Restoration Company was established in 2012 and is at the halfway point of a four-year-long major overhaul and restoration of the locomotive. Restoration efforts rely almost exclusively on a cadre of volunteers who have each donated hundreds of hours in dismantling, cleaning, inspecting and refurbishing each part of the 1944 steam locomotive. A number of businesses and individuals throughout the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas assist the Engine 557 Restoration Company with monetary and material support.
Special thanks to Rasmuson Foundation for generously matching donations to Engine 557.
For more information visit www.alaskarails.org.