So, here we just added another steam locomotive project to the list. Now that’s exciting! The Dardanelle & Russellville #9 is probably the most worthy restoration project the Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s Steam Department will undertake. Even though it will only be a cosmetic restoration (at this time), the Steam Department is going to make her look like she’s ready for service.
This project isn’t just exciting because it’s the D&R #9, it’s also going to be lead by one of our newest members along with his nine-year-old son. I am setting this project up for our younger members, along with our older members, to experience the feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie when everyone is working for the one goal. Plus get to “play” with REAL trains and perform a service that will not just benefit the museum, but also the volunteer. These are my memories of when my father started bringing me to Mid-Continent back in 1966 and the D&R #9 was the daily steamer. This just didn’t happen to me, but many a young boy and girl. Ask MCRM members Bill Burhmaster, Ken Ristow, Wally Tisler, the list goes on. Generational participation is what makes the Mid-Continent Railway Museum one of a kind!
Currently, the 9’s smokestack has been repaired, the cab windows and doors have been removed for restoration, and fundraising has commenced. After the first of the year  I will update you on a timeline for starting and completing the 9’s cosmetic restoration. So, please come back and check up on the happenings with our beloved 9.
Steve Pahl, Sr.
General Foreman of Steam Power
Mid-Continent Railway Museum
A Personal Photo Album
History of Dardanelle & Russellville #9
Dardanelle & Russellville #9 is the oldest steam locomotive in Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s collection. It was built in 1884 by the Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (commonly called Baldwin) at Philadelphia, PA. It was originally built for the 196-mile New Orleans & North Eastern Railroad as their locomotive #232.
The locomotive later found a home on an Arkansas shortline, Dardanelle & Russellville Railroad. There it was renumbered to #9. It served there until 1963, when it was moved on its own wheels to Mid-Continent Railway Museum. It took over for #1385 as the main duty engine at Mid-Continent in 1964 and remained in frequent use until the 1970s. It briefly returned to service for one summer in 1991 before again being pulled from service in need of boiler and tender work.
More history and photos available on the D&R #9 Roster Page
Donate to the D&R #9 Fund
Funds will be needed to cover the cost of materials used as part of #9’s cosmetic restoration. You can donate toward this project with a credit/debit card by using the Donate button or by sending a printable donation form along with a check (be sure to write in “D&R #9” in the Special Projects portion of the form). All donations to Mid-Continent are tax-deductible.
Become a Project Volunteer
This project is just getting underway. We’ll share more information about how you join the MCRM Steam Team in future updates. Stay tuned!