As a former volunteer and member of IRM in the 70's, I had proposed that to the diesel department back in 2001. The reasoning I used was the Mark Twain Zephyr locomotive, although not a perfect match approximates the locomotive that was used. I surmised that we could run special trips up and down the BNSF W Quincy line between Minneapolis and Chicago similar than the trips run recently. I was told by members of the museum, although a good proposal, the board didn't think there would be enough interest and seats filled to make the trips viable. I think the quote was, "Everyone would be photographing and no one riding". At last check the locomotive was at the Museum of Transport in St Louis and it has only been cosmetically restored and not operable. MOT was never approached by IRM for this proposal, and they had at the last time I was there in 2000, no
intention of operational restoration.
But with IRM's close relationship with BNSF stranger things have happened.
I am not sure why this discussion was initiated under Steam Department and will not approve any further posts in this area.
For clarification my understanding is that the Zephyr excursion was run in cooperation with Amtrak rather than BNSF as suggested in this post.