#8300 is the first of a batch of five P-5a class coal burning
0-8-0 switchers built in 1923 by Alco at its Schenectady, NY, Works for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (#8300-#8304). A further forty-two 0-8-0s were delivered to the railroad between 1924 and 1929, classed P-5b, P-5c, P-5e and P-5g. Rostered across the system, they worked into the late 1950s. As it dieselised, the GTW set aside a number of steam engines for preservation, but there were no 0-8-0s among them, and they were all sold for scrap.
#8300 was retired in August 1959 and sold in May the following year with fifteen other GTW 0-8-0s to the Northwestern Steel and Wire scrapyard in Sterling, IL. The NS&W possessed an aging fleet of ex-CBQ 0-6-0 switchers and decided to scrap these and put the 0-8-0s to work in
The engines were renumbered by dropping the first two digits of their GTW numbers, except for #8300, which
became #30 rather than #00. They worked into the early
1980s and, when NS&W steam operations finally ceased, twelve of the original sixteen 0-8-0s were still on the roster,
the other four having been used for spare parts or
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In what was a very generous move for a yard that had scrapped so many steam engines over the years, NS&W donated the twelve locomotives to the Illinois Railway Museum in 1982.
#76 went to the City of Amboy, IL, as #8376. You can see it on the GTW #8376 page of this website. #80 was cosmetically restored as #8380 and you can see it on the Illinois Railway Museum Yard page. #27 went to St. Paul, MN, for display outside the Bandana Square, a railroad-themed shopping complex converted from a former Northern Pacific car shop.
#73 remained in NS&W's home town of Sterling,
IL, at the Paul W. Dillon Home Museum (you can see it on the GTW #8373 page of this website). In 1988, the IRM traded five of the 0-8-0s to a Chicago scrapyard in exchange for CB&Q 2-8-2 #4963, which had been standing in their yard since 1970. The remaining three, #74, #05 and #30 were left on a siding in Galt, not far from the NS&W yard in nearby Sterling.
#30 weighs 208,000 lbs. With 51” drivers and
22” x 28” cylinders, it operated at 200 psi delivering 45,175 lbs tractive effort.