This Consolidation type (2-8-0) locomotive was one of six
F-23 Class engines built for the Wisconsin Central in 1914 at Alco’s Schenectady, NY, works (#2440-#2445), although they operated all over the Wisconsin Central and Soo Line
systems. With Walschaert valve gear and weighing 230,000
lbs, 201,800 lbs on its 63” drivers, it has a driver wheelbase of 17’ and engine wheelbase of 26’. Total heating surface is 3,927 sq ft, including 927 sq ft superheating, with a 52.75 sq ft grate and 187 sq ft firebox. The cylinders are 25” x 30”. Operating at a boiler pressure of 170 psi, it delivered 43,006 lbs tractive effort.
In its early years, #2442 worked almost exclusively on the
First Subdivision of the railroad, from North Fond du Lac, WI, to Forest Park, IL. As larger steam locomotives were bought
by the Soo/WC, it moved to other parts of the system, including working local freights. With a working life of forty-three years, #2442 eventually ran up a cumulative mileage of 1,518,932. Its last year of operation was 1953 and, after its final run out of Fond du Lac, WI, that year, #2442 went into storage at the Wisconsin Central/Soo Line Shop in North Fond du Lac, WI.
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Some time in the 1930s, #2442 swapped tenders with #2431 as part of a project to turn the original tenders into what the Soo/WC called a “Clear Vision” type tender, removing the original sides and building the coal bunker straight up to provide a “clear view” back over the tender. The tender weighs 169,000 lbs light and has a 14 ton coal and 9,000 gallon water capacity.
#2442 was donated to the City of Marshfield in 1956. Soo Line workers donated their time and labour to lay track to its present location in Wildwood Park.