All aboard Mesa's favorite locomotive - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

All aboard Mesa's favorite locomotive

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Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 8:30 am | Updated: 12:04 pm, Tue Oct 11, 2011.

An imposing fence has separated train lovers from Southern Pacific Engine #2355 since the 1990s, but the public can enjoy rare access to this historic vehicle on Nov. 5. On that day, you can get a guided tour of the 99-year-old train as part of the second annual fundraiser for its restoration.

The Rails, Rods & Steel Wheels fundraiser includes a classic car show, live music from four local bands, bounce houses, raffle prizes, a horseshoe tournament and food vendors. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pioneer Park, 526 E. Main St.

As many as 3,000 people attended last year’s fundraiser and more are expected this time. The train has been a popular attraction since Southern Pacific donated the decommissioned locomotive to Mesa in 1958. Mesa fenced it off for safety reasons. The restoration project would repair rusting components and potentially fund moving the train closer to Main Street so it’s more visible. Railroad buffs can see some parts of the train at an exhibit at the Mesa City Plaza, 20 E. Main St. The train’s restored bell, whistle and light are on display with railroad artifacts and brochures. The display will remain through Nov. 4.

More information about the fundraiser and Engine #2355 is available at http://saveourtrain.com

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