Tate grad spends summer restoring locomotive for Eagle Scout project

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Tate High School graduate took on the challenge this summer of refurbishing the 107-year-old locomotive that has rested on Pensacola’s Garden Street for more than 60 years.

Zachary Panici, 17, has spent his summer fundraising, gathering volunteers and planning workdays to restore the 588,890-pound Engine 1355 of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company, a City of Pensacola media release said.

The locomotive has been on Garden Street since 1957.

Panici chose to spruce up the locomotive for his Eagle Scout project. Eagle Scout is the highest achievable rank in the Boy Scouts of America organization.

Panici coordinated the project with the City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department.

The city release says since May, Panici has held five workdays with volunteers, logging more than 200 hours of labor. The work included scraping rust off the locomotive, cleaning and repainting it, and repainting the stenciled numbers.

Panici expects to wrap up the project at the end of summer.

“I just saw the state that the train was in, and when I talked to residents of the city, they said they didn’t like the state it’s in and it needed to be fixed up,” Panici said. “We know it’s never going to run again, but we can at least make it look as good as possible.”

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