#1024 was built as a Vauclain compound Prairie type
(2-6-2) locomotive in 1901 by Burnham, Williams & Co., an early incarnation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA. It was part of a second order for
twenty-six of the type made by the AT&SF (#1014-#1039). The first order for fourteen was made the same year (#1000-#1013). The class was designed for AT&SF’s La Junta-Albuquerque division, which had more than 3% grades in both directions between Trinidad, CO, and Raton, NM.
By the early 1900s, many US railroads were beginning to abandon compounds and converting those they owned to single-expansion locomotives. The main advantage claimed for compounding was lower fuel and water consumption, but the Vauclain arrangement produced uneven forces and excess wear at the crosshead, and increased maintenance costs largely offset any fuel economies.
#1014-#1039 were simpled between 1912 and 1918, and the earlier group from 1922 to 1924. Built with 79" drivers, all forty were fitted with 69" drivers between 1922 and 1923.
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#1024 weighs 209,220 lbs, 144,610 lbs on its drivers, with a 13’ 8” driver wheelbase and 32’ 2” engine wheelbase. Built as a coal burner with a 118,000 lbs, 6,000 gallon water and 10 ton coal tender, #1024 was later converted to burn oil with a tender holding 12,000 gallons of water and 39,000 gallons of oil.
The 1000s all had big, long boilers and 53.5 sq ft grates so they would never be short of steam. With a 195 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 3,738 sq ft, they operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi delivering 25,446 lbs tractive effort.
Retirement of the 1000s started in 1941, with the last one leaving service in 1954.
#1024 was donated to the City of La Junta by the Santa Fe in 1956. You can see another surviving 1000 on display in Emporia, KS, on the ATSF #1015 page of this website.
Left, when I first visited La Junta, #1024 was perched atop a rather barren expanse of shingle a few hundred yards from the municipal swimming pool in Potters Park.
On the weekend of 13th April 2013, however, the locomotive was lifted onto a large steel sled, which was then hauled through the city streets on a series of greased steel plates that were moved from the rear of the sled to the front as they came free. The move cost $89,000 and was carried out by G-Force Specialty Transportation from Chama, NM.
La Junta resident Larry Shirley kindly provided these photos of the move. The tender was still at the old site when this set
of photos of the move was taken, but it was later hauled over to the new site on a truck trailer.
Located at the junction of Highway 50 and Barnes Ave, #1024 now sits on a hill where it is more visible from the highway and the La Junta Amtrak station. The livery has been changed slightly and the white hand rails and golden cowcatcher are, to my eyes, rather out of place.