Chicago Great Western & Rock Island preservation in northeastern Iowa

Minnesota Transfer (MTFR) 62
Diesel Switcher Locomotive

Minnesota Transfer 62 (Currently lettered as GE 1990) was built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCo) in Schnectady, New York in 1941.  MTFR 62 was one of five ALCo S1 diesel switch locomotives purchased by the MTFR. 

Minnesota Transfer Railway Company, a Minnesota Corporation, was a transfer, terminal and industrial switching railroad in the Twin Cities. It was equally owned by nine railroads in the Twin Cities. The Chicago Great Western Railway Co and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company each had a 1/9 interest in the railway. In 1955 the company operated 103 miles of yard tracks and sidings, as well as terminal facilities, in St. Paul, Minneapolis, New Brighton, and Fridley.  Portions of the trackage still exists today but is now called the Minnesota Commercial Railway.

MTFR 62 served the Minnesota Transfer until 1964 when it was sold to RELCO, a locomotive leasing company in Illinois that leases switch engines to industrial users. RELCO renumbered this unit to RE702.

GE Railcar Services in Waterloo purchased this unit from RELCO in 1990 and renumbered it 1990.  Minnesota Transfer Railway 62 was donated to HCHC by General Electric Railcar Services Corp. in 2006. Iowa Northern Railway generously transported it to Oelwein. 

MTFR 62 is the sole diesel switcher type locomotive survivor of the Minnesota Transfer Railway.

American Locomotive Co.
Year Built
Builder Number
Operating Weight
198,000 lbs
45' 6"
Tractive Effort Cont.
29,200 lbs
Tractive Effort 30%
59,400 lbs
Fuel Oil
635 Gal
Lube Oil
80 Gal
Eng. Water
220 Gal
27 Cu Ft
Prime Mover
McIntosh & Seymour
Model 539 - 6 cylinder
660 (490 kW)
Engine Type
Four-stroke diesel
Normally aspirated
9,572 cu in (156.86L)
Straight 6
Cylinder Size
12 X 13 in (318 x 320 mm)
Gear Ratio
Maximum Speed
60 MPH
ALCo Blunt

MTRY 62 In its Minnesota Transfer colors.  Picture taken by Keith Ardinger, submitted by Ed Raye.

Rock Island Caboose

The wooden Rock Island Railroad caboose at the Oelwein Railroad Museum is one of only two still in existence.

Whenever Oelwein’s railroad history is mentioned, it is most always in connection with the Chicago Great Western.  In fact, it was the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota railroad, which came to Oelwein in 1872, which later became the Rock Island Railroad.

2009 Restoration Photos
The photos immediately below this paragraph were taken on July 27th. By this point, all of the rotten wood has been removed from the west side of the car, and new wood has been installed and painted.  Just a small portion remains to be done on the east side.  The ends are also just about done, leaving just the cupola.
The following photos were taken on June 11, 2009, and show a lot of the hard work and dedication that goes into preserving historic equipment such as this. Chris Parrish sets-up scaffolding as work on the caboose progresses.
Gene Parrish tackling the task of scraping away the old paint. More of the old paint surrenders to Bill Nickerson and his drill. Bill Mundt reaches the high spots from the scaffolding, while Chris helps from the ground.

Hub City Heritage Corporation Railway Museum

  26 2nd Avenue SW    Oelwein, Iowa     319-283-1939

Unless otherwise noted, images are Hub City Heritage Corporation Railway Museum
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