Suprise! All fired up and ready to roll!
A few of us were privy to this event well in advance - notably, photographers of a Lerro Productions photo charter back in April of 2019. A few key placed smoke sticks and a thumbs up from the Texas State Railroad made for a fascinating recreation of a sight we all pray to see come to fruition, but for the time being we can only imagine (and photograph)!
No. 610 is the sole survivor of the T&P's fleet of seventy 2-10-4's (designated as a "Texas" type). The T&P presented No. 610 to Amon Carter Sr, a prominent Fort Worth businessman and civic leader on January 27th, 1951 and placed the locomotive on display at the Will Rogers Coliseum. Seventeen years later, slowly deteriorating, the locomotive was purchased by David Pearson in 1968 and the 610 Historical Foundation was chartered the following year for the purpose of preserving and restoring the locomotive back to operating condition. It was moved to the Fort Worth Army Depot for storage where it remained until 1975. An agreement was made in 1974 which saw No. 610 restored to pull the American Freedom Train across Texas. Following that event, the locomotive was leased for several years to the Southern Railway for excursion until 1981 when it was returned to its owner. In 1986, No. 610 was formally donated and shipped to the Texas State Railroad where it continues to be maintained, protected and - as seen above - showcased.