Illinois Central Class 2500 #2542 is on display at the old Illinois Central, now Canadian National, depot at McComb, MS, on N Railroad Blvd, which houses the McComb Railroad Depot Museum. The museum has a collection of more than one thousand, five hundred cataloged artifacts.
#2542 was originally built for the IC in 1921 by the Lima Locomotive Works as Santa Fe type (2-10-2) #2906. In 1942, it was rebuilt in Illinois Central's Paducah, KY, shops as a 4-8-2.
#2542 appears to be well looked after and it is one of only two survivors of the IC 2500 class. You can see the other on the IC #2500 page of this website.
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The 2500s weigh 409,500 lbs, 280,500 lbs on
their 70" drivers. They have an engine
wheelbase of 42' 3" and driver wheelbase of
With a grate area of 88 sq ft, a 437.3 sq ft firebox including two arch tubes and four thermic syphons totalling 132 sq ft, and 1,285 sq ft superheating, total heating surface was 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.
The one hundred and thirty-six Mountains were the most numerous of any type of steam locomotive rostered by the Illinois Central. Its 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).
To make the fifty-six new 2500 class locomotives between 1937 and 1943, the 2900's boilers were reinforced and laid on a new, single cast frame incorporating the 30" x 30" cylinders and air pump reservoir.
The tender held 24 tons of coal and 11,000 gallons of water. The tenders, which were from the 2900s, were comparatively small for engines of this size and the 2500s were often seen with a secondary water tender.
The 2500s had a top speed of 100 mph and worked across the entire IC system hauling both passenger and freight trains into the late 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.
Above, a shot of the grates and ash pan. Right, the cab deck and grate shaker levers.
#2542 was 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 at the depot by volunteers, men and equipment provided by the Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad.
Below and right, a recent addition to the collection, Illinois Central Wrecking Crane #100417 and its accompanying Tool Car, IC #100546 built by Industrial Brownhoist of Bay City, MI, in 1956 at a cost of $212,000 possibly for the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.
The main body is 41’ 11” long and total weight is 383,100 lbs. Powered by 2 Cummins 145 hp HBI-600 4 stroke diesel motors, the crane has three sets of outriggers. The main hoist has a 250 ton lifting capacity, the auxiliary has a 60 ton capacity and the whip has 15 ton.
Above, an aluminium refrigerator car, #5100 is also on display with #2542. This reefer car was built by IC at its McComb Shops, which were located just across the tracks from the current station.
Below, also part of the consist is a wide vision extended porch caboose, IC #9384. Built in 1966 at the Illinois Central's Centralia Shops in Illinois, it was the largest type of caboose used by any US railroad. It was on display at Edgewood Park until it was moved here in June 2000.