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BOARD CHUGS TOWARD LOCOMOTIVE ISSUE

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The Board of State History has decided to decide about the fate of Locomotive 223 - a decision not to be confused with actually deciding the engine's fate.

The board agreed at its monthly meeting Thursday to make a decision about the decrepit engine within two months, possibly even find a home for the iron beast by then.The board also voted unanimously that the locomotive could be moved out of state; must be stabilized, if not restored, by its new owner; must be partially stabilized by a new owner before being moved to prevent irreparable damage during the move and must be accessible to the public in its new home.

The board gave its staff two months to find a new home for the engine.

All decisions made regarding the locomotive Thursday passed the board unanimously.

The board discussed several possible homes for Locomotive 223, including Lagoon, Heber, Grand Junction, Colo., Ogden and New Mexico - many of the whom don't want the locomotive.

The Ogden Union Station, for example, lost interest in the engine after inspecting it, said Max Evans, director of the Utah State Historical Society. "If they got cold feet, it made me wonder if we are in a position to deal with it responsibly."

Salt Lake City donated the engine to the Utah State Historical Society in 1979. The engine, built in 1881, had been on display in Liberty Park. The society moved the engine to a site behind the Rio Grande train station, 300 Rio Grande, but failed to stabilize or restore it.

"It just continues to weather out there," said Phil Notarianni, coordinator of public programs for the society.