#481 was built as #1902, one of twenty (2-8-0) Consolidation type locomotives built as Vauclain compounds by Burnham, Williams & Co., later incorporated as Baldwin Locomotive Works, in 1902, (#1901-#1920 renumbered #480-#499 in 1915). They were heavier than the 1640 Vauclains, 192,670 lbs, with boiler tubes longer by a foot and grates increased to 47 sq ft. With a 191.2 sq ft firebox and heating surface of 2,584 sq ft, they operated at 200 psi, delivering 31,719 lbs tractive effort.
As built, the 1901s had 15½" x 30" high pressure and
26" x 30" low pressure cylinders but, by the turn of the century, many US railroads were turning away from compounds and converting those they owned to single-expansion locomotives. So, between 1910 and 1918, the 1901s were progressively simplified with 21" x 30" cylinders, #481 in March 1910.
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The tender weighs 115,798 lbs light with a 6,000 gallon water and 11 ton coal capacity.
From about 1914, most of the 1901s were fitted with superheaters and many worked into the late 1950s. #481 was donated to the City of Kearney in 1958.
#481 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. It was early morning when we passed through, so we could not go into the museum grounds.