This is one of four Class 500 Ten Wheeler
(4-6-0) type locomotives built for the
Louisiana & Arkansas Railroad by Baldwin in 1920 (#502-#505). Two of the class had already been supplied by Baldwin in 1916 (#500-#501). These were the only superheated locomotives on the L&A, and amongst the largest Ten Wheelers built in North America at the time.
The L&A was formed in 1897 when William Edenborn, a wire and steel magnate, built a railroad from Shreveport to New Orleans, LA. The connection across east Texas from Jefferson to McKinney, TX, came in 1923
and branch lines served Vidalia, LA, and Dallas, TX.
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The Kansas City Southern acquired control of the L&A in 1939, but operated it as a separate entity until 1992, although the identity gradually disappeared in the 1950s and 1960s as the KCS name was adopted for all its properties.
#503 is equipped with Southern valve gear and
22" x 28" cylinders. It has an engine wheelbase of 25' 6" and driver wheelbase of 14' 10" and weighed 194,000 lbs, 153,000 lbs on its 57" drivers. With a 34.4 sq ft grate and 200 sq ft firebox, it had a total heating surface of 2,997 sq ft, including 548 sq ft superheating.
Operating at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, #503 delivered 40,418 lbs tractive effort. The tender weighs 143,300 lbs light and has a capacity of 7,000 gallons of water and 14 tons of coal.
#501 was scrapped in 1947, #500 in 1948. The Louisiana Midland picked up #503 in 1948, and the Texas & Northern #502 in 1949. #504 was bought by the Texas Southeastern in 1950, and #505 was scrapped in 1953. #503 transferred to the LM's sister company, the South Shore Railway at Jackson, LA, in 1950. When, in 1957, Port Arthur expressed an interest in obtaining a steam engine for display, the Kansas City Southern bought #503 from the South Shore and sold it to the City of Port Arthur for $1. The Lions Club of Port Arthur sponsored restoration. It is on display in Bryan Park and, although lettered KCS #503, it never operated as a KCS engine.