Iron Horse Park: Mighty Steam Came to Stay Fifty Five Years Ago
Posted by Durand Now at 11:46am 5/13/16

The National Railroad Memorial, Inc. (NRMI) is proud to celebrate Durand’s Railroad Heritage in Iron Horse Park, during Railroad Days on May 14th and 15th, 2016.  Once again, we will be sponsoring free exhibits and fun for the kids celebrating Durand’s railroad heritage.   We will also be accepting donations and volunteer help to restore our Engine #5632.  This year, we are highlighting and celebrating an important milestone for the park.  It’s creation!   On July 14, 1960, Engine 5632 was given to the City of Durand for a memorial to steam power.  Putting the engine in its present static location in Iron Horse Park required building a track over which the engine could be moved.  The work started in September of 1960 and GTW Engine # 5632 was dedicated on May 20, 1961.  Fifty-five years ago this May! 

GTW Engine # 5632 is a Pacific type class K-4, 4-06-2 with 25 x 38 cylinders and 73 inch drivers.  It ran with boiler pressure of 215 pounds.  Weighing a total of 288,330 pounds, the Engine was classed at 41 percent (41,000 pounds of traction effort).  The tender carried 10,000 gallons of water and 18 tons of coal.  The Engine was built in 1929 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Eddystone, Pennsylvania. It was delivered to the Grand Trunk Western In November of 1929 along with the 5633 and the 5634.

The Engine ran on the Chicago Division until 1938.  In 1938, the Engine was transferred to the Detroit Division when replaced by the 6400 series of engines.  Engine 5632 retired from service in Durand on June 13, 1958.  The last service Train 19 was on June 12, 1958 with Milo Bair as the Engineer and William Tihelka, Fireman.  The Engine #5632 was stored at the Durand Roundhouse until put on static display creating a new park!

Together with the City of Durand, the Grand Trunk Western Historical Society and NRMI are raising the funds and volunteering to fix, repair and refresh Engine #5632.  NRMI has already raised the funds from the first two years of Iron Horse Park events during Railroad Days to repair, paint and restore the Grand Trunk Gate Tower.  We want to raise an additional $10,000 plus to repair, restore and paint Engine #5632.  There will also be a complete needs assessment of the engine to help in the restoration.  Work has already begun to get the Engine in shape.  You can make a donation specifically for Engine #5632 on either nonprofit’s websites, www.railroadmemorial.org; or www.gtwhs.org,  just note for 5632.  We will also be assessing immediate needs for the GTW Pullman baggage car in Iron Horse Park.  The baggage car has remained essentially abandoned since the early 1990’s when the contents were moved to Durand Union Station.  A complete assessment for restoration, repair and stabilization costs will be made this spring.  If you wish to donate to restore either the engine or the baggage car, visit Iron Horse during Durand Railroad Days and donate your change to help restore our treasures in Iron Horse Park.

The National Railroad Memorial, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation organized as a 501 (C) (3).  Our mission is to honor the men and women of the railroad industry by educating the public as to the importance of their roles in our nation’s past, present, and future.  NRMI is partnering with the City of Durand to honor these individuals by building the National Railroad Memorial as the center piece of Diamond District Park, downtown Durand.