The Story of CB&Q 4960, 4963, 5632 and GTW 5629
Richard Jensen, a bread route salesman for Catherine Clark Baking Company of
Oconomowoc WI, single-handedly and with extremely limited means, managed to
acquire several steam locomotives to be preserved for steam fan trips out of
Chicago in the early 1960s. His first acquisition was GTW 4-6-2 #5629.
Later he acquired CB&Q 4-8-4 #5632 and CB&Q 2-8-2 #4963. However,
the story does not have a happy ending. Two of these three steam locomotives
met their fate with the scrappers torch. Only one survives today.
The GTW 5629
Richard Jensen purchased 5629 from the GTW in 1959. He, and a small group of
volunteers worked many hours and returned it to operating condition. A 5629
excursion was first offered (and advertised in TRAINS Magazine) in
the fall of 1961. However, after only two excursions on the Baltimore &
Ohio, the excursion market became saturated with company-operated trips
on the GTW. Photos courtesy Jack
The first Grand Trunk Western trips were run in late October 1966. Sponsored
by the Railroad Club of Chicago, the 16 car train trips were lightly attended
even though the fare of $7.75 was low due to an Illini Railroad Club trip
with 6218 being offered on the same line two weeks later for $6.50. The
Illini trips with 6218, run at cost, actually lost money for GTW while having
more attendance than that of the 5629. Due to the low attendance, the
Railroad Club of Chicago owed Jensen $2500 for trip expenses not met. Jensen
accepted a promisary note with no interest and no due date in exchange for
services to be rendered by club members on future operations.
through 1969 Jensen ran 10 successful trips and 2 failures on the Grand Trunk
running out of Chicago and Detroit. The 5629 was also used in 1967 and 1968
to pull the Circus World
Museum Schlitz Circus Train out of Baraboo, WI.
The 4960 in CB&Q Excursion Service
The 4960, a 2-8-2 was first used in CB&Q excursion service on December
28, 1958 when the Illini Railroad Club sponsored a trip between Chicago and
Ottawa. The photo on the left shows one such trip where railfans scrambled
to get "the perfect shot". One certainly wouldn't see a railroad allow
something like this today! 4960 received a major overhaul in 1961 where she
received new tires, flues, arch tubes, and arch brick. 4960 was painted gold
for the 50th (golden) anniversary of service to Casper, WY which ran on
October 20, 1963. TRAINS magazine labeled it the Tenshodo
Mikado because it looked like a brass locomotive as seen in hobby
shops. On March 4, 1966, after over seven years of excursion service, the
CB&Q announced that steam trips would be discontinued after 4960's July
17 trip. However, 4960 was not scrapped.
In 1966, 4960 was retired to the Circus
World Museum where she remained until
donated to the Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society's museum at North
Freedom, Wis. In 1980, she was leased to an excursion operator, the Bristol
& North Western (B&NW) Railroad, in Bristol, VA. A short-lived reprieve, she
entered service running out of Benham, Va., during the summer of 1981.
During this time, a personal relationship began between 4960 and two present
Grand Canyon Railway employees: Ervin White, train master, and Robert
Franzen, superintendent motive power. White was part of the crew that
prepared 4960 for the trip and moved her from North Freedom to Bristol. He
stayed on with the B&NW in charge of train operations and maintenance of
track. At this same time, Franzen signed on with the company as a fireman.
Both worked on the engine to prepare her for the 1981 season and continued
to operate her throughout the summer as firemen and engineers. By 1984 the
picnic was over. The B&NW went out of business and Franzen ran her for the
last time from Benhams to Bristol. Both White and Franzen bid her farewell,
not knowing they would eventually meet again.
In March 1985, the engine was moved to Ft. Wayne, Ind., where she declined
in storage until purchased by the Grand Canyon Railway. Shortly after the
reinaugural of the Grand Canyon Railway on September 17, 1989, mechanics
dissembled most of the components and shipped the running gear on trucks and
the frame, boiler, cab and tender on flat cars to Williams, AZ.
Finally shopped in July 1993, she began one of the most thorough overhauls of
a steam locomotive in modern times. Stripped of all running gear, tubes,
electrical systems, bearings, pumps, stay bolts, and coal systems, she
looked a bit forlorn. But, as newly manufactured and rebuilt equipment
is added to the basic frame and boiler, the huge engine continued to
take on a new life of her own. Boiler men, welders, electricians, and
mechanics turned out flue sheets, pumps, fittings, and running gear to
low tolerance specifications from raw material that made 4960 the queen
of the United States steam fleet. No rebuilding in the past 45 years
has been so complete. Franzen was in charge of this massive rebuilding
project that spanned more that 24 months and expenditure of hundreds of
thousands of dollars. Ervin White supervised train operations.
The 5632 in CB&Q Excursion Service
Some of these company-sponsored excursion trips were powered by CB&Q 5632
(the CB&Q used 21 different locomotives for excursions). The CB&Q
started using 5632 on fan trips when she was hauled out of retirement for a
November 2, 1958 re-enactment of the run of the Aristocrat from
Chicago to Galesburg.
Occasionally, the CB&Q ran doubleheaders. The photo on the right shows a
September 6, 1959 doubleheader with 6315, a 2-10-4 on the point. On this
trip, 6315 had a mishap where she lost both of her eccentric rods. 5632
saved the day by pushing the crippled 6315 to Galesburg while towing the
By 1961 she needed a major overhaul. The superheater coils were reworked,
the firebox was rebricked, the boiler was relagged, 97 staybolts were
replaced, and she received a new paint job. All of this was done at the
In 1964 5632 was painted with temporary (water-based) gold paint to help
commemorate the 100th anniversary of CB&Q's suburban service. Chicago -
Aurora runs were made on May 20, 1964 (a mid-week trip - on the actual day)
and on May 23rd. The May 23rd trip consisted of a record number of
passengers (about 3500) for a CB&Q fan trip (22 coaches were used). By
June, 5632 was once again painted black. However, 5632 was again painted
gold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Kansas City Union
Station with a trip to St. Joseph on October 31, 1964 and a trip to Bevier,
Missouri on November 1. The trip on November 1, 1964 proved to be 5632's
final (CB&Q excursion) trip for when she returned to Galesburg, she was
stored unserviceable with no further extension on flue removal. In 1965, a
class 3 overhaul was authorized by retiring president, Harry C. Murphy. The
CB&Q shop forces at West Burlington had removed the flues and fire
brick. However, the CB&Q was unable to recruit the 14 men that were
required to put 5632 back into service and in 1966, new president Louis W.
Menk ordered the repairs to be stopped.
1960 and 1961 CB&Q 5632 fan trip photos courtesy Mike Hennessey.
Richard Jensen Acquires 4963 and 5632
In 1966, he obtained both CB&Q 5632 and 4963 as scrap. 4963 had last
worked in revenue service for the Bevier & Southern. After 1964 it was held
briefly by the CB&Q as a parts supply for 4960 which was being operated in
company-sponsored excursion service. Many older locomotives were sent to
Galesburg to await scrapping, as shown on the right. However, 4963 was
spared this fate.
Shortly after 5632 was "retired" from excursion service by the CB&Q,
Richard Jensen obtained a lease on a portion of the Chicago & Western
Indiana 47th Street roundhouse in Chicago. The C&WI at one time used the
roundhouse and yard to provide Chicago terminal services for the Erie, Monon,
C&EI, Wabash and GTW railroads, all of whose trains terminated in
C&WI's Dearborn Street Station. After the demise of steam on these
railroads, Richard Jensen was able to rent a stall in the roundhouse for 5629
and again began running excursions. Richard Jensen would maintain and
operate his locomotives based out of the C&WI roundhouse. 5632 was
obtained in dismantled condition (no flues and no staybolts in the firebox) with
three boxcar loads of parts including CB&Q steam shop equipment. It needed
$100,000.00 plus worth of labor to restore in 1966 dollars! He also had
purchased 2 ex-CRI&P oil tanks (formerly a 4-8-2 tender and a 4-8-4 tender)
for water cars. The 4-8-4 tank is now the water car for the PM 1225.
From the late 1950s through the early 1960s a Railfan Club war existed in
Chicago. With the Illini Railroad Club on one side and the Central Electric
Railfans, the Railroad club of Chicago, the Midwest Railfans Assoc. and the
Brotherhood of Railfan trainmen on the other. Due to deliberate club
competition and railroad company competition the price of tickets in Chicago
based trips was forced to a zero profit margin. Richard Jensen ran the 5629
on two Illini trips and made the sum total of $78 to cover all of his out of
pocket storage and maintenance costs. The trips were run on a flue
extension. Realizing that we would soon need money to reflue the engine and
that the small tender would not be economical for running the type of trips
that a competitive market would need to operate and that the storage costs at
the 18th street roundhouse of the B&O did not lend itself to future plans,
Jensen reached an arrangement with the C&WI for storage of the 5629 and the
spare tenders inside the Roundhouse and outside for the work and storage cars
along with use of the C&WI backshop.
Tragedy Strikes the 5632!
By 1969, the presidency and control of the C&WI had changed and Richard
Jensen knew that his time at the C&WI roundhouse was short. Knowing that his
lease for space at the roundhouse would not be renewed, Richard Jensen spent
most of the summer moving parts, tools, and machinery out of the roundhouse
and into freight cars, but because it was in the middle of a major rebuild,
and therefor difficult to move, 5632 remained in the roundhouse. At 2:00 AM
on a Saturday morning in August while Richard Jensen and Rich Young were
figuring how to move the drawbar buffer on the 4963 to the same height as the
buffers on either the IC 2612 or 2613 tenders, Western Union arrived with a
telegram from C&WI stating that Jensen had 48 hours to vacate the premisses!
After 60 days of waiting, no inspection of the equipment was performed by
C&WI and no movement took place. Suddenly, the C&WI moves the all of the
equipment including the 5632 in a special move to the 88th street yard.
Richard Jensen, in an attempt to find out what is going on, contacts the C&NW
and CWP&S to find out if any attempt is being made to inspect the equipment
and is informed that efforts to inspect at Jensen's request have been denied
by the C&WI. After 3 more weeks the equipment is suddenly moved to the Erman
Howell scrap yard at 83rd street. The 5632 derails during the move into the
Jensen waited until his lease expired then asked the C&WI when the move of
his equipment was going to be completed. In return C&WI sent him a draft for
$4800.00. At this point the suit was on. Originally the suit requested
delivery of the equipment and payment for deprivation of use. The scrap yard
cuts up 5632. Now a steady stream of Jensen's equipment is being loaded on
weekends into railroad cars and into trucks and being hauled away! Jensen
refiled the suit asking for full repayment of value of the engines, railroad
cars, and the equipment contained therein. 4963 was put into storage at a
Chicago scrap yard. Fortunately, GTW 5629 was still in Detroit at this time
and therefor was "safe". Jensen won the lawsuit and was awarded $707,007.49
plus $1,000,000.00 in punitive damages.
A Disasterous Trip With the 5629
Richard Jensen had used the GTW 5629 on some semi-successful excursions on
the GTW out of Chicago in the late 1960s. However, on April 25, 1971 a fan
trip from Chicago to Logansport, IN via PC using GTW 4-6-2 5629 was cancelled
due to difficulty in dealing with CRI&P, PC and AMTRAK. The money from this
trip was reportedly never refunded by Mr. Jensen. However, this is not
true. This is what happened. Richard Jensen needed 18 to 20 cars to hold
the 1300 tickets that had been sold (PC was going to provide them). First,
PC backed out of their car offer. Richard Jensen then acquired 18 high
capacity cars from the CRI&P and CMStP&P. On Friday the CRI&P informed
Richard that the 12 CRI&P cars were in Davenport, IA and he would have to pay
to get them to Chicago. Richard provided the money to get the cars. On
Saturday at 10:00 am the CRI&P stated that they not only wanted the cost to
transport the cars but also insurance coverage for the cars between Davenport
and Chicago. Richard Jensen's insurance agent said they would not cover the
move between Davenport and Chicago as the railroad is the carrier of their
own equipment and should be responsible for their own railroad liabilities.
Therefore, the trip was rescheduled for two weeks later. However on Monday
the PC referred Jensen to see AMTRAK. But AMTRAK referred him back to the
PC. The trip had to be cancelled. When Jensen asked for the return of his
money, he was told that "You will be creditor #97 in list of creditors and
you may see your money in 90 to 120 days." It took almost a year to get the
money back from the railroads, however only .38 on the dollar was refunded.
On a 1972 Southern 4501 trip on the CRI&P, any ticket holder of that
ill-fated PC trip was offered a free $20 ticket or a full refund of the
original $16 ticket price. However, a number of the passengers on the
ill-fated PC trip chose to bring a law suit against Richard Jensen instead.
For the next 20 years if someone met Richard Jensen and told him they were
an unpaid ticket holder, they would get their money back.
Tragedy Strikes the 5629!
By the late 1970s Richard Jensen was in poor health as a result of an
accident (he suffered a serious fall in a freak accident while helping a
friend move a refrigerator to a third floor apartment), and was hospitalized
for a long time. Tragedy struck again in the 1980s. In 1987 the 5629 was
stored in Rock Islands Blue Island (IL) yard, south of Chicago. It was
left with the tender full of coal for a steam trip that never occurred
- the GTW cancelled the trip for non-payment of fees. Soon after, the
CRI&P filed for abandonment. In the ensuing legal activity, the Blue
Island Yard was sold to METRA, who decided to redesign the property to
meet other needs. METRA asked Richard Jensen to move his locomotive,
but was unwilling to assist him in pushing the locomotive 150 yards to
the Iowa interstate. Metra also refused to allow an inspection of the
locomotive which would allow Richard Jenson to have someone else move it.
At one point, Metra was willing to allow IRM to move the unit out, but
without title, since legally, it belonged to Mr. Jenson. The courts
ruling was that Metra was indeed allowed the use of it's property,
but Metra could not move it. Metra went back to court, asking relief,
and got permission if it were not moved, to be scrapped. Metra continued
negotiating with Mr. Jenson, (so did IRM) but to no avail.
When the news of this predicament hit the Chicago newspapers, and several
groups, including the Illinois Railway Museum, offered to move the locomotive
free of charge, just to get it out of harms way.
However, legally, no one could touch it. But an exasperated METRA did.
METRA scrapped it where it stood, and all railfans could do was stand there
and watch in disbelief. The photo (courtesy Jack Hackenbroch) shows the
aftermath of the horrible scrapping at Blue Island, IL in July of 1987.
Richard Jensen was very disgusted after 1988 due to the events he went
throurgh. On March 16, 1991, Richard Jensen, at age 60, passed away.
July 1987 Photos of the Scrapping GTW 5629 (Courtesy Sam Beck)
The Rescue of 4963
After Richard Jensen's death, the IRM was able to acquire his 4963, rescuing
it from a Chicago-area scrap dealer just before it was scheduled to be cut
up. Here are the details. When Northwestern Steel and Wire got rid of its
ex GTW 0-8-0s in the early 1980s, the IRM acquired six for its collection
(only one was moved to the IRM property). In 1988 the IRM wanted to save
4963 (which sat at that scrap yard until 1990!), and so traded five of the
0-8-0s (8306, 8328, 8372, 8375, and 8379) to the scrap dealer in exchange for
4963. 4963 is now safe at the IRM. It is ironic, that these 0-8-0s which
dragged so many fine steamers to their demise in the early 1960s met their
end saving a mainline engine from the torch.
It is difficult to have a positive conclusion to this story. However, if you
consider that there are four
other surviving CB&Q Northerns and two other surviving GTW Pacifics, it doesn't
seem quite as bad. Consider how tragic it would have been if the last PRR
Duplex, or last NYC Hudson, or last Milwaukee Streamlined Hudson had been
lost in such a manner (and so recently).
The following people helped to provide some of the information found on this page:
- Locomotive & Railway Preservation Jan-Feb 1993 page 55
- The Northern and the Mike -- A Tale of Two Locomotives by J. A. Stowe, 2042 Armitage Ave., Chicago, Il. 60647.
- Burlingtin Route Steam Finale by Lloyd E. Stanger, ISBN 0-942035-0
How You Can Help
- I'm looking for a photo of the 4960 when it was painted gold.
- I'm looking for any other photos of 4960 between the time it was in CB&Q
excursion service and the present.