#457 was part of an order of twelve Class H5-39 Consolidation type (2-8-0) locomotives built by Alco in 1912 for the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway at a cost of $18,456.03 each (#450-#461).
Over the years, the H5-39s underwent a number of changes. In 1916, the sides on the tender's coal space were extended to increase the coal carrying capacity. In 1930, seats were installed in the cab for the fireman and brakeman, and a back was added to the engineer's seat. A mechanically operated fire door was also added. In 1937, air pipes were added for operation of a Jordan spreader. A power reverse gear was installed in 1938 and the running board on the engineer's side was raised to pass over it. A second ladder was added to the back of the tender's coal space in 1942 and, in 1944, a Standard stoker was installed. Still later, footboards and a backing headlight were added so that #457 could perform switching duties.
#457 saw service in Minnesota and Iowa, and hauled troop trains during WWII but, by late 1950 the M&St.L had dieselised, and #457 was sold to the American Crystal Sugar Company in Mason City, MN, where it was used to switch carloads of sugar beets during the annual beet harvest season.
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Exactly when #457 was last used is unknown but, in September 1959, it was moved to its current location in East Park. The Mason City Noon Rotary Club funded relocation resulting in the locomotive’s nickname of "Rotary Cannonball".
#457 has a 49.5 sq ft grate and 206 sq ft firebox, including 25 sq ft of arch tubes. With a 25’ 8” engine wheelbase and a 17’ driver wheelbase, the engine weighs 200,000 lbs, 174,000 lbs on its 59” drivers. With 22” x 30” cylinders
and total heating surface of 2,555 sq ft, including 425 sq ft superheating,
#457 operated at a boiler pressure of 185 psi, delivering 38,699 lbs tractive effort.
The tender weighs 134,000 light with a capacity of 6,500 gallons of water and 12 tons of coal.