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Mike Burdett | 223 project


Mike’s earliest remembrance of the railroad is when his granddad lifted him up to see the “big boy” here in Utah when he seven years old. His granddad worked for the Union Pacific at the roundhouse off 29th street. Hanging around his granddad got him a ride on the coal fired Big Boy from the ash pit to the turntable. The ride on the turntable gave Mike a lifelong interest in railroads. Mike served our country as a Dentist in the Army and carried that profession into private life until retiring in 2009. All the time Mike was fixing teeth, he was active in something involving railroads. He was instrumental in having the state legislature designate the Ogden Union Station as the State Railroad Museum. Mike also has been a prime mover in the development of a tourist rail route from Ogden to the Golden Spike site at Promontory Utah where the Union and Central Pacific railroads met in 1869.

Mike considers himself a serious railroad buff. He recently appeared on film narrating a movie about the Denver and Rio Grande #223 now being restored by Mike and his fellow volunteers. When asked what the #223 restoration project will do for Ogden, Mike responded, “It will cement and document Ogden’s recognition as the Utah State Railroad Museum”. Mike was instrumental in bringing #223 from obscurity as a “relic” in Salt Lake City to Ogden. It is his dream that, after restoration, old #223 will be hauling tourists on a loop close to the Union Station.