Outshopped in 1937, Illinois Central Class 2500 #2500 is the first of fifty-five Mountain (4-8-2) type locomotives rebuilt from IC Class 2900 2-10-2s between 1937 and 1943 at IC's Paducah, IL, shops. To make the new locomotives, the 2900's boilers were reinforced and laid on a new, single cast frame incorporating the 30" x 30" cylinders and air pump reservoir.
#2500 was built in 1921 by Lima as
2-10-2 #2953. It is on display in Fairview Park in Centralia, IL. Volunteers from the Age of Steam Memorial have looked after the locomotive ever since it was saved from the scrap heap in 1962.
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Mountains were the most numerous of any type of steam locomotive rostered by the Illinois Central. The first fifteen came from Alco in 1923 (#2400-#2414). In 1925, twenty-five came from Lima (#2415-#2439) and then, in 1926, another twenty-five from Alco (#2440-#2459).
The IC built 2500s weigh 409,500 lbs, 280,500 lbs on their 70" drivers. The tender weighs 219,500 lbs light and has a capacity of 24 tons of coal and 11,000 gallons of water. The 2500s had a grate area of 88 sq ft, a 437.3 sq ft firebox, an evaporative surface of 5,160 sq ft and superheating surface of 1,285 sq ft making a total heating surface of 6,450 sq ft. They were fitted with Du Pont automatic stokers from the original Lima 2-10-2s and, operating at a boiler pressure of 240 psi, delivered 78,685 lbs tractive effort. They had a top speed of 100 mph.
In the early 1950s, like most of the 2500s, #2500 worked out of IC's Illinois Division freight pool based in Chicago, IL. The 2500s worked into the late 1950s, and #2500 was retired in September 1962 and donated to the City of Centralia.
You can see the only other surviving IC 2500, #2542 on the IC #2542 page of this website.