|Durango and Silverton provides one of the rare cases of multiple locomotives from the same class|
still existing in functional condition
A while ago, a friend and I got together and discussed our recent experiences volunteering on heritage railroads. He is associated with the Alaska Railroad, and has been active in the restoration of the ARR 557. Our shared excitement about the 557, as well as the numerous other restoration projects currently in progress, led to quite a bit of pondering about one question: Exactly how many operating steam locomotives are left in the United States?
Both of us expected a quick, concise answer from Google or Wikipedia. As it turned out, though, we had broached one of those questions that appears simple when it is asked, but defies an easy answer.