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457 locomotive in East Park taking on a new look


This news story was published on November 24, 2012.
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by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –

An afternoon drive through East Park is a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend some leisure time. You watch the deer, see the children playing and go look at the Cannonball, the 457.

What a surprise we got when we went by the 457. It’s painted red! We’ve been through East Park many times, but somehow have missed the transition and have missed any information about it being changed. We were not the only ones.

A man reading the posts about the 457 to his children had a bewildered look on his face too.  “The pictures all look like the 457 has always been black. The pipes over there are painted gray and it looks like the cab and front are going to be red. I don’t know why they are doing that.”

So, in case there are others out there that didn’t know that construction was being done to the 457, here are a couple pictures to show you how it looks now. Looking for some information on if the red is staying, none could be found. Here are a couple statements from a 457 website and the Friends of the 457 Facebook site.

“As of October 12, Sandblasting of the 457 is nearly completed of the cab and smokebox areas, and priming will begin as soon as the weather allows. The boiler jacket metal fabrication is complete and removed for priming in the shop. The tender has been raised for replacement of the timbers underneath the tank.”-Website

“Priming is completed and we are now at the mercy of the weather to be able to continue with painting. This coming week the “Friends” hope to attach the newly fabricated and primed Boiler Jacket and finish coat with black, and a pewter color gray on the smoke box.

The tender is raised and the old timbers removed from under the water tank, waiting for newly trimmed boards to be delivered.”-Facebook

“The projects of this summer will greatly enhance the appearance and preservation of the 457 for years to come.”-Website

Construction is not complete, but does anyone have any opinions on the start of the new look?

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9 Responses to 457 locomotive in East Park taking on a new look

  1. Avatar

    Cliff Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for your support. Most volunteers are individuals, but may to belong to clubs like Rotary or Lions, etc that have supported the project with donations from time to time. The most recent group to help for some occassions has been KIMT-TV.
    We have RR workers, ministers, social workers, nurses, homemakers, painters, cement plant workers, meat cutters, doctors, youth, car enthusiasts, model RR enthusiasts, former City employees, sound engineers, electricians, and many more. Although many have worked on it over the years, our core group is small and needs to expand to avoid burnout. Please consider inquiring to volunteer through the Mason City Volunteer Coordinator. The “Friends” are a great bunch to work with!
    You are right about the painting – the weather and volunteer painter availability shut us down. The locomotive will be black with a grey (smoke-box)nose.
    Watch our progress early next spring went we will be really under the gun to complete and be open by early May.
    Friends of the 457

  2. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2012 at 7:47 am

    This is a neat job that is being done primarily by volunteers. Just think if they had the money wasted on those ugly statues and the mayors new office what they could have done.

  3. Avatar

    dirty ernie Reply Report comment

    November 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    maybe we should move it to central park and haul all of the statues to behr and recycle them.

  4. Avatar

    Hi J Reply Report comment

    November 25, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I must say I was very disappointed when I thought they were painting it red. Goes to show how I need to get the whole story before I make a judgment call!! I would like to thank all the people that have put such a great effort in making this train what it is today.

  5. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    November 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    The refurbishing of the 457 has been going on for at least 2 years, and possibly longer. Except for one person, all the work is being done by volunteers, and I don’t think any (Rotary) is involved. The 457 was originally black, and when finished it will be black. The colorful paint that is on it now is primer coat. Alot of time and work has gone into it so far, and more is to come. I’d think that the workers are done now because of the weather, but if not, stop by if you see them there and I’m sure they will tell you whats going on.

  6. Avatar

    ArmBears Reply Report comment

    November 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Another Jewel in the East Park Crown, clearly one of the most attractive treasures in all of North Iowa. Hats off to the hard work and dedication of the Rotary.

  7. Avatar

    WD 80 Reply Report comment

    November 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    What a great job thoes guys are doing on the locomotive. The city owes them. What a great addition to East Park that has made. A few years ago it was almost an eye sore. Thanks to all who has helped make this such a atraction.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I think the red is the primer coat.

    • Avatar

      Joe Reply Report comment

      November 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

      I hope that is just primer coats because it does look pretty bad. It should be painted it’s original colors, true to it’s era.