Volunteers Locked Out of Train Restoration, Just Ahead of Golden Spike 150

Apr 30, 2019, 6:31 PM | Updated: May 6, 2019, 10:08 pm

OGDEN, Utah — Trains are part of our history. For Steve Jones, they are his passion and his pastime. He started volunteering to help restore an 1880’s era train car, back in 2004. The restoration project as a whole, started in 1991.

“It’s a very slow, very tedious process,” Jones explained. “We’re a group of volunteers. We meet on Saturday mornings, for about four hours. So we accomplish a little bit each week.”

The group has worked over the years to re-build the Denver & Rio Grand Western Rail’s 223 engine. Many of the parts have had to have been built there in the workshop.

But about four months ago, the volunteers with the Golden Spike Chapter, of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society say they were locked out of their workshop.

Jones says the changes started shortly after Ogden City took over control of the Union Station building.

“It’s a drastic change for us and this project,” Jones said. “We’ve been working since 1991, with a handshake.”

223 Tender Car Mayor Mike Caldwell 223 Tender Car Steve Jones A view from outside the workshop

While Union Pacific used to let the volunteers in as they needed, Mayor Mike Caldwell said the city has had to take careful inventory of what’s inside of the building, and its safety.

“Last thing anybody in the community wants to see is for the building to burn down, or catch fire, or any of that history to be destroyed,” Caldwell explained. “We recognized that they work with a lot of solvents, and a lot of other things in there, and we just want to make sure everybody understands what the other is doing.”

Caldwell added that city leaders are also eager to allow the volunteers back into the workshop.

“We really appreciate the work that they’ve done for the last 30 years,” Caldwell said. “It’s an amazing asset.”

Caldwell also added that attorneys are now hammering out the final details on a temporary agreement, which would allow the volunteers back inside the workshop to prepare, and show off the 223 over the next couple of weeks.

With the Golden Spike 150 year celebration starting this weekend, Jones says the group is eager to get inside, and prepare their workshop for tours. With an international audience coming to town, it’s a prime opportunity to attract more donors to the project.

“We’re hopeful that we’re going to get a short-term agreement in place with Ogden that we’re going to be able to have open houses,” Jones said. “We’re really at the point where we’ll be changing gears quite a bit, and fundraising to support the things that have to be done professionally.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Spike 150

John Hollenhorst, KSL TV

Colorado Town Disputes Utah’s Transcontinental Claim To Fame

When Utah celebrated the 150th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike, the cheering section was pretty much statewide. But in a tiny Colorado town, some people think the whole thing in Utah is a historical fraud.
4 years ago
Big Boy and Crowd...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Spike 150 Brings Boost To Weber, Box Elder Economy

A large influx of visitors into Northern Utah is expected to translate into millions of dollars being spent, especially in Box Elder, and Weber Counties.
4 years ago
AJ Russell's famous "champagne" photo...
Keith McCord, KSL TV

Iconic ‘Champagne Photo,’ Photographers Remembered On Golden Spike Anniversary

As the transcontinental railroad was nearing completion, fortunately the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads made sure the event was documented. They hired 3 photographers to preserve that great day in 1869.
4 years ago
Native American At Transcontinental Railroad...
Keri Wilcox, KSL TV

Spike 150 Celebrations Honor Native American Culture and Legacy

As Utah and the nation celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Native Americans hope we also remember and honor an often forgotten legacy of progress.
4 years ago
BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press

Cannons, Bells, Music Mark 150th Anniversary Of Railroad

Visitors traveled from as far as China and dressed in old-fashioned dresses, top hats and bonnets for the celebration featuring music, a flyover, the firing of cannons and ringing of bells at the Golden Spike National Historic Park.
4 years ago
AJ Russell's famous "champagne" photo...

Presidential Message Released On The 150th Anniversary Of The Completion Of The Transcontinental Railroad

The White House released a presidential message about the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. 
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Volunteers Locked Out of Train Restoration, Just Ahead of Golden Spike 150