Train Display For A Railroad That Never Existed
In 2016, Pepitone sold the train to a man in nearby Dallas, North Carolina. According to local news accounts, Pepitone and the city had been discussing ways to save the display because they knew it was becoming an attraction to the area for people who like trains. That was, ion fact, part of the problem. Kids and sometimes adults often climbed on them which became a liability issue for him and the city. A fence would have taken away from the aesthetics.
Consideration was given to turning the train into a restaurant or a shop, but they were not sure it could be brought up to code. Leaving the train on site did not make much sense, even less when upkeep was weighed in. So the train was sold to Hunter McMillan, who owns McMillan Crane Service in Dallas. Owning a set of cranes was definitely a bonus when it came to moving the train
So while the history of the non-existent Milltowne Railway and the train display was rather short and easy to find online, the history of the train itself was not as easy. Most folks calls the locomotive and it's train by the name painted on the cab of the old engine. I found more questions about the lineage of the engine than I did answers. My usual first stop place for locomotive roster information was of no use due to the unique nature of the locomotive. But noted railroad photographer Robert Graham was gracious enough to share me what he knew about the train engine. It turns out that even though the railroad it is painted for is fictional, it does have ties with North Carolina.
It was built in March 1949 as Pacific Great Eastern Railway #553 (b/n 30038) to Sidney & Loisburg #60 to Devco Railway #60 to Laurinburg & Southern Railroad #107 (in October 1972) to Fairmont & Western 107
The Laurinburg & Southern is located in North Carolina and operated the Fairmont &Western (also in the Tarheel State) before that railroad was abandoned.
The caboose is former Nickel Plate #436 while the passenger car was former New Haven Railroad
The locomotive and caboose was sold and moved off site in 2016 while the passenger car was scrapped on site in March 2019. .