Welcome to New England Steam Corporation's Indiegogo page!
We are a non profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to preserving and operating mainline trains pulled by steam locomotives in New England. Our focus is on restoring former Maine Central 4-6-2 #470 to operation. This is no small undertaking. It will require many hours of volunteer labor, donations of money, materials, and support from generous people and businesses.
Steam locomotive 470, the "Mascot of Maine" is a New England native. The locomotive is a cherished artifact currently on display in the City of Waterville Maine. Local residents cherish their history and protect their historical sites for future generations to enjoy. Railroad history is a part of New England's past and is intertwined with the building of a great nation. Freight and people were moved along by the railroad with great speed and efficiency before the days of automobiles and airplanes. Steam locomotives evolved to handle heavy trains with ever increasing tonnage. By the 1950s, the steam locomotive had become an engineering marvel with locomotives that weighed hundreds of tons. They could pull freight trains well over one hundred cars long, and speed passengers between cities in great luxury and style.
MEC 470 is one of those great locomotives. Built in 1924 by American Locomotive Works, this locomotive was born to run! 470 joined a fleet of hundreds of steam locomotives and served Maine Central RR for almost 30 years. Her large drive wheels and graceful proportions evoke images of pulling the fastest name trains on the railroad such as the "Kennebec Limited", "The Gull", and "the Bar Harbor Express".
470 pulled the last steam powered passenger train on the Maine Central on June 13th 1954. Afterwards, the locomotive was saved from the scrapper by being donated by the Maine Central to the City of Waterville, Maine. As a display in a local park, 470 has sat as a reminder of the glory days of railroading.
Sadly though, time and the elements have taken their toll. Sitting unprotected from the sun, rain, snow, unending vandalism, and worst of all, neglect, has caused this once proud athlete to deteriorate into an eyesore.
Luckily, there is going to be a brighter future for 470!
In February 2013, our group of determined, steam oriented, individuals came together to form a non profit organization called New England Steam Corporation. Our mission is to return 470 to her former glory.
Working with the City of Waterville, NESC made a preliminary inspection of the locomotive. The inspection included ultrasonic thickness testing of the firebox steel and boiler shell. Visual inspection of numerous components was completed by a mechanical engineer and the results were surprising. This locomotive that has sat in a City park for almost 60 years is in relatively good condition. The inside of the boiler is dry and clean. Maine Central crews did an excellent job in 1954 of preparing 470 for display. It has been determined that steam locomotive 470 is a good candidate for restoration and can be made operational.
Please make a donation to New England Steam Corporation and support our project to restore 470 to operation. We'll gladly accept your donation and use it to purchase 470 from the City of Waterville for $25,000, transport her to a new home and begin the restoration.
This is just the beginning of a huge and wonderful project to restore a missing piece of history to communities along the rail lines of New England. All of us at New England steam encourage you to visit our website www.newenglandsteam.org and join as a member. With your help everyone will see this mighty powerhouse on rails pulling trains on the high iron again!