This 0-4-2T (Tank) locomotive was one of two built by Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co., an early incarnation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, in 1888 for the East End Street Railway Co., of Memphis, TN. The East End Street Railway was then incorporated into the Memphis Street Railway in 1895. It operated overhead electrified cable streetcars and trolleybuses over roughly 160 route miles until 1960. Streetcars ceased running in 1947, when trolleybuses took over.
The enclosed type of design of this locomotive was often referred to as a "dummy" locomotive as it was made to resemble a streetcar and thereby, the thinking went, was less likely to frighten horses along its path. #4 was the same design as four rear-tank engine dummies built by Baldwin for the Metropolitan Railway operating between Atlanta and Decatur, GA. Its condensing engines operated without the noise of escaping steam, and pipes, rods, linkages and other moving parts were covered. This was also because bare engine parts were thought to be too unsightly to be seen on city streets!
At some point prior to 1895, #4 was sold to the Mammoth Cave Railroad.
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Founded in 1831 by Matthias W. Baldwin, the Baldwin Locomotive Works went through various partnerships
over the years resulting in a string of name changes: Baldwin, Vail & Hufty (1839-1842), Baldwin & Whitney (1842-1845), M. W. Baldwin (1846-1853) and M. W. Baldwin & Co. (1854-1866). After Baldwin's death in 1866, the company was known as M. Baird & Co. (1867-1873), Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (1873-1890) and Burnham, Williams & Co. (1891-1909).
It was finally incorporated as the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1909.
The Mammoth Cave Railroad was built from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot in Glasgow Junction, TN (now Park City) to transport visitors to the Mammoth Hotel and Cave, replacing a stagecoach line.
The L&N owned the right of way but did not build the 8.7 mile line with its 3½% grade and 14-17° curves. In 1874, a contract was signed with the Mammoth Cave Railroad Company and work began in 1880 with the section to Diamond Cave. Construction then stopped until 1886, and the railroad opened for business in that year. It cost $3 per ticket when it first started running.
From 1886 to 1929, the railroad used four "dummy" locomotives, all built by Baldwin, two passenger coaches and two combination coaches. Passengers could catch one of the several twenty-five minute trips during summer, but only a single round trip in winter.
In the first few decades of the twentieth century, however, an inevitable decline in the railroad's fortunes followed the growth of automobile transport. By the late 1920s, it faced hard times and, from 1929, started using motorised railbuses in place of the engine and coaches.
In 1931, the newly formed Mammoth Cave National Park Association ceased operations on the line and disposed of the equipment except for a locomotive and carriage to be placed on display in the park. The original "Hercules" #3 was, by then, too worn out to make the trip to Mammoth Cave, so #4 went instead and, for a while, bore the erroneous name "Hercules".
Weighing 51,000 lbs, 41,000 lbs on its 42" drivers, #4 has 12" x 18" cylinders. It operated at a boiler pressure of 125 psi delivering 6,541 lbs tractive effort.