SRI’s North Pole Express to be Powered by Diesel Locomotives for 2022

Hello Friends of MSTRP/SRI —

If you have been following the Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) on Facebook and other social media this year, you know that we are in the midst of a major rebuild of Pere Marquette 1225’s running gear. These components have not been completely inspected, refurbished, and replaced since the 1940’s, and it is work that definitely needed to be done.

Unfortunately, restoration work takes time, and it can be difficult to predict how long it will take. In spite of the best efforts of our staff, contractors, and material suppliers, we will not have Pere Marquette 1225 reassembled and ready to run for the North Pole Express season this year. We did explore steam replacements for 1225, but none of those plans were feasible, either. So, this year’s North Pole Express trips will be powered using leased Diesel locomotives from Precision Locomotive Leasing & Sales, LLC.

While this news may be disappointing, the work that will be completed on PM 1225 will ensure it will be in excellent operating condition for many years to come. The on-board experience on our North Pole Express trains and in the Village of Ashley’s “Country Christmas” will be the same, or in some cases better, than what you have enjoyed in the past. We also intend to have PM 1225 on a display track near our Visitor’s Center in Owosso for our guests to photograph before or after boarding the train.

Our website will be updated with pricing and details for this year’s North Pole Express excursions in the next few days, and we will send you another email when that information has been posted. That message will also include the date tickets will go on sale later in September.

For more information about the Steam Railroading Institute, including opportunities to volunteer or donate, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

All of us at SRI thank you for your support and interest in PM 1225 and the North Pole Express, and we look forward to seeing you this holiday season.


Dean Pyers
Executive Director