Union Pacific #481 was built in 1902 as #1902 by Burnham, Williams & Co., in Philadelphia, PA, later part of Baldwin. It is one of an order for twenty Consolidation (2-8-0) type locomotives built as Vauclain compounds (#1901-#1920 renumbered #480-#499 in 1915).
As built, the 1901s had 15½" x 30" high pressure and
26" x 30" low pressure cylinders. However, by the turn of the century, many US railroads were turning away from compounds and were converting those they owned to single-expansion locomotives. So, between 1910 and 1918, the 1901s were progressively simplified with 21" x 30" cylinders, #437 in March 1910.
The 1901s were based on the UP's 1640 Vauclain
compounds (you can see one of these on the UP 1640 #437 page of this website) but heavier, 192,670 lbs, 171,870 lbs on its 57" drivers, with boiler tubes lengthened by a foot and grates increased from 33.9 sq ft to 47 sq ft. With a 191.2 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 2,584 sq ft, they operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, delivering 31,719 lbs tractive effort.
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The tender weighs 115,798 lbs light and has a capacity of 6,000 gallons of water and 11 tons of coal.
From about 1914, most of the 1901s were fitted with superheaters and many worked on the Union Pacific system into the late 1950s. #481 was donated to the City of Kearney in 1958. The locomotive is on display at the Trails and Rails Museum on W 11th St., with a UP Flat Car and UP CA-6 Steel Caboose #25396. The caboose was built as UP #2706 in 1955, renumbered in 1960 and donated to the museum in 1977.