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Heber City – The Heber Valley Historic Railroad Authority has received a donation from the Utah's State Railroad Museum of important components to help in the restoration and conversion of the Heber Valley Railroad's historic 1907 steam locomotive, the No. 618.
The Heber Valley Railroad has been performing required boiler inspection work and steam locomotive restoration at its shop in Heber City. Part of this process includes converting the No. 618 steam locomotive from coal-burning to used motor oil-burning. The Utah State Railroad Museum has a non-working static display steam locomotive — its No. 4436, which is a similar locomotive and was in its day an oil burning locomotive. Recently the Utah State Railroad Museum donated several components from its static display No. 4436 to aid in the restoration/conversion of the Heber Valley Railroad's No. 618.
According to Mike Manwiller, Heber Valley Railroad's chief mechanical officer, the donation will greatly speed the process of getting the No. 618 back into service. "We are appreciative of the generous assistance of the volunteers and staff at the Utah State Railroad Museum with these parts,” Manwiller said. “They, like us want to preserve the magic of steam locomotives alive in Utah for everyone to experience. We appreciate their cooperation and assistance." The components donated included specific oil control valves, manifolds, as well as firebox parts unique to oil-burning locomotives.
The No. 618 steam locomotive was built in 1907 at the Baldwin Steam Locomotive works in Pennsylvania. It was originally ordered and used by the Oregon Short Line railroad, which was later acquired by Union Pacific. Throughout its working life, it was used throughout Utah and surrounding states. The No. 618 sat as a static display for many years at the Utah State Fair Park in Salt Lake City. It was later donated to the Heber Valley Railroad, where it has provided authentic and historic steam locomotive experiences for many years.