A Dutch museum finds one of the last WWII locomotives in Mason C - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A Dutch museum finds one of the last WWII locomotives in Mason City, IA


A Dutch Railway museum in the Netherlands, Stoomtrein Goes-Borsele, is expecting a very special shipment next week from the Lehigh Cement Company in Mason City, IA.

An old Whitcomb Diesel locomotive from World War Two, one of the last of its kind since these types of trains were scrapped after years of service, will be cleaned up and sent to the museum.

"It is a big deal for us, we were approached by a museum in the Netherlands that wanted to restore this back to its original condition to celebrate the 75th anniversary of WWII, and we're happy to be a part of that," said Plant Manager Tom O'neill. 

The locomotive has been at Lehigh Cement Company for more than ten years and it is covered in cement. They planned to clean it up on Wednesday but rain delayed them a bit.

" We're gonna clean it up a bit for them to ship it overseas, we'll get some dry ice, get some of the dust and debris off it," said O'neill.

This locomotive, however, has a spot on a ship that is going to set sail next week to the Netherlands.

This locomotive was built in 1944 in the U.S. by Whitcomb and was shipped in 1945 to France. The Dutch Railways bought 20 locomotives of this type to start up the railways after WWII, but they were all scrapped.
The museum has been waiting for years to get this train - they will fully restore it for the tens of thousands of tourists will be able to see it, and eventually take a ride.

"We were looking for years to find one Whitcomb to complete our collection in the railway museum. We found one locomotive in Mason City at the Lehigh Cement Company in Mason City," said Project Manager Jos van der Heijden with Stoomtrein Goes-Borsele. "After a few calls with the Lehigh Cement Company they loved our plan to save one of these locomotives."

Then Lehigh offered to donate the locomotive to the museum. The museum then started a crowdfunding site to be able to transport the train to the Netherlands.

"Fortunately we got an brilliant offer of Spliethoff Shipping to sponsor the shipping of the locomotive!" said van der Heijden.   

Lehigh Cement Company said they expect the locomotive to set sail for the Netherlands on Tuesday.

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