Illinois Central Class 2500 #2542 is on display at the old Illinois Central, now Canadian National, depot at McComb, MS. It is one of only two survivors of the IC 2500 class (you can see #2500, the first rebuild, on display in Fairview Park, Centralia, IL, on the IC #2500 page of this website).
#2542 was originally built for the IC in 1921 by Lima as 2-10-2 #2906. In 1942, it was rebuilt as a 4-8-2 in IC's Paducah, KY, shops. The Paducah Shops built seventy-six of these Mountain type locomotives from older Lima 2-10-2s between 1937 and 1943. #2500-#2555 were designated Class 2500. The slightly heavier #2600-#2619 were designated Class 2600.
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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 more came from Lima (#2415-#2439) and then, in 1926, another twenty-five from Alco (#2440-#2459).
The engine weighs 409,500 lbs with 30" x 30" cylinders and 70" drivers. Operating at a boiler pressure of 240 psi, it delivered 78,685 lbs tractive effort with a top speed of 100 mph.The tender weighs 219,500 lbs light and has a 24 ton coal and 11,000 gallon water capacity.
You can see the first 2500 on the IC #2500 page of this website.
The 2500s hauled fast passenger and freight trains well into the 1950s.
In the early 1950s, like most of the 2500s, #2542 worked out of the IC's Illinois Division freight pool based in Chicago, IL. It was retired in October 1960.
#2542 was then acquired by the City of McComb in 1962 and went on display in Edgewood Park.
On 21st June 2000, it was moved to its current location by volunteers, men and equipment provided by the Canadian National.
Above, a look into the cab taken by my brother. The overall condition appears to be pretty good. Below left, the grate shaker levers below the cab deck. Immediately below, a shot of the grates and ash pan.
The 2500s had a grate area of 88 sq ft, a 437.3 sq ft firebox with two arch tubes and four thermic syphons, 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.
#2542 is on display with a wide vision extended porch caboose, IC #9384. Built in 1966 at IC's Centralia Shops in Illinois, this was the largest type of caboose used by any US railroad. An aluminium refrigerator car, #5100 is also on display built by the IC at its McComb Shops, which were located just across the tracks from the current station.
Right, IC Wrecking Crane #100417 and its Tool Car, IC #100546. It was built by American Hoist and Derrick (b\n L3788) shortly after the company bought Industrial Brownhoist. It was delivered to the IC at Mempis, TN, in November 1968 as IC X-114. After the IC's merger with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio it was renumbered ICG #100417. (I'm grateful to Tom Davidson of Hammond, LA, for this information)
The crane's main body is 41' 11" long and weighs 383,100 lbs. Powered by two Cummins 145 hp HBI-600 4 stroke diesel motors, it is the last old style twin engine derrick built, and has three sets of outriggers. The main hoist has a 250 ton lifting capacity, the auxiliary 60 tons and the whip 15 tons. The Tool Car acted as a boom for the crane.