This locomotive has the distinction of being the last steam locomotive purchased by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad. It is on display in Grant Beach Park, Springfield, MO. The SLFS bought twenty-five of these Northern (4-8-4) type locomotives from Baldwin based on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's 4-8-4 O-5A Class built at CB&Q's West Burlington, IA, shops between 1936 and 1940.
The 4-8-4 was ideally suited for US passenger and fast freight service. Most main line railroads could accommodate the eight drivers, and the four wheel trailing truck supporting a large firebox allowed for extra boiler capacity and large drivers. The four wheel leading truck also provided optimum riding and tracking.
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The first three 4500s delivered to the Frisco in 1942 (#4500-#4502) were oil burners. They were designed to haul the railroad's crack overnight Meteor passenger service, which operated between Oklahoma City via Tulsa, OK, and St. Louis, MO.
The next ten 4500s
(#4503-#4514), also delivered in 1942, and ten more (#4515-#4524) delivered in 1943 were coal burners intended for fast freight service, although they also
hauled some passenger trains. The last ten were fitted with trailing-truck boosters, and these were soon retro-fitted on the earlier engines.
#4524 weighs 462,500 lbs,
280,000 lbs on its 74" drivers. The tender weighs 241,300 lbs light and has a capacity for 18,000 gallons of water and 24 tons of coal.
With an 88 sq ft grate and 544 sq ft firebox, including
137 sq ft in three thermic syphons, an additional 1,530 sq
ft of superheating brought the engine's total heating
surface to 6,296.sq ft. The engine wheelbase is 46' 6", and the driver wheelbase is 19' 3". Equipped with Walschaert valve gear and 28" x 31" cylinders, the locomotive operated at a boiler pressure of 255 psi and delivered 71,188 lbs tractive effort.
Several 4500s were rebuilt in 1952 and then stored behind the Lindenwood Roundhouse in St Louis, MO, until they were either scrapped or donated for display. #4524 was donated to the City of Springfield in 1953.
Three other 4500s survive: #4500 has been restored to its original zephyr blue, white and grey livery, with "Meteor" across the tender in distinctive red lettering. It was moved to Route 66 Park in Tulsa, OK, in May 2010. You can see pictures of it on the SLSF #4500 page of this website. You can also see #4501 on the Museum of the American Railroad page and #4516 on the SLSF #4516 page.
#4524 is looked after by the Railroad Historical Museum Inc. It is open to the public 2.00-4.00 Thursdays, May through October. Right, it is on display with BN Express Car #976100, CNW Bi-Level Commuter Car #2 and BN Caboose #10768.