Peoria County, Illinois  Genealogy Trails 
Submitted by Steve Slaughter 2011

History of OLD 886

The last Rock Island steam locomotive to operate in Peoria was destined to become the first steam locomotive to be enshrined as a monument in the State of Illinois. This old steam "monster" was a gift to the children of Peoria by the Rock Island Railroad through the Peoria Junior Chamber of Commerce which in turn delivered ownership to the Peoria Park Board. 

Construction of a new concrete base with newly laid track began on Monday, June 25, 1956 in Glen Oak Park close to the Perry Ave. side of the park. 

Track was laid as "Old 886," the steam 156 ton locomotive that once pulled passenger trains out of Bureau County, IL, at more than 80 miles per hour slowly groaned its way on the temporary tracks to its resting place in Glen Oak Park on 
July 6, 1956.


After leaving the siding next to the National Aluminum Mfg. Co. at 720 Park Ave about 8am Thursday, July 5, 1956, Old 886 began its tedious creep downgrade with the aid of 3 Caterpillar Tractors. 
The state highway department insisted that Perry Ave. be covered with several layers of dirt spread under the tracks to prevent the weight of the engine from cracking the pavement.

The Peoria Fire Dept. roped off a distance of several hundred feet in each direction in the event that a cable might break and the engine would run wild down the tracks. Railroad experts said that if it began rolling, it would be impossible to stop her. 

One of the last of the Rock Island Railroad's once proud fleet of "iron horses" was safely ensconced in it's new "stable" in Glen Oak Park for a stay that spanned several decades.

Old 886 was built by the American Locomotive Company in 1909 and had many years of fine service on the Peoria-Chicago Rocket run before she was retired. The engine originally cost $200,000

886 was the last steam engine to operate out of Peoria before the dieselization program. She is part of an order of 29 engines of the Pacific type (4-6-2) placed with the American Locomotive Company's Schenectady, New York works in 1909. The Road Class was designated as P- 31.



TRACTIVE EFFORT .......... 31,476 pounds
HORSEPOWER ............ 22,250 (approx)
DRIVING WHEEL DIAMETER ......... 74 inches
LENGTH ............... 75 feet 0I inches over couplers
PRESSURE ............... 185 pounds
WATER ..................... 7500 gallons
COAL .................................. 13 tons
ENGINE WEIGHT ............ 226,950 pounds
TENDER WEIGHT (LOADED) .............. 150,640 pounds
TOTAL WEIGHT ............... 377,590 pounds

OLD 886 at Glen Oak Park 1956

The 886 is equipped with Walschaert Valve Gear and a Schmidt "Top Header" Superheater with an area of 676 square feet. 
In her long years of service, she pulled the finest of Rock Island trains like the Golden State Limited and the Rocky Mountain Limited. 
This mighty engine now rests at the Transportation Museum 7 miles from Peoria on US Route 150 (Knoxville Ave).

OLD 886 in Switchyards 1955

Front View of OLD 886

OLD 886 on the turn around




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