Frisco Class 1500 #1527, a Mountain type steam locomotive on display in Langan Park, Mobile, AL

SLSF T-54 #1527, Mobile

SLSF #1527 is located in Langan Park, Mobile, AL. It is one of ten Frisco Class T-54 Mountain (4-8-2) type locomotives built by Baldwin and delivered in 1926 (#1520-#1529). You can see #1522 on the National Museum of Transportation, St. Louis Train Sheds page of this website.

At 360,890 lbs, they were heavier than the five 342,200 lb Baldwin built Mountains delivered in 1925 (#1515-#1519) and the first fifteen also built by Baldwin and delivered in 1923 (#1500-#1514) weighing 339,800 lbs, 244700 lbs on their drivers. You can see one of the first batch on the SLSF 1500 #1501 page of this website. Despite the weight differences, all thirty had an 18’ driver wheelbase and engine wheelbase of 40’ 4” with 28" x 28" cylinders and 69" drivers. Oil fired, #1527 had a 70.3 sq ft grate, 405 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 4,620 sq ft, including 1,180 sq ft superheating. Operating at a boiler pressure of 210 psi, they delivered 54,085 lbs tractive effort.

The T-54s were bought just before a time of minor expansion by the Frisco, in between two of the periodic bouts of receivership that characterised much of its history. The T-54s were designed to haul passenger trains, but were mainly assigned to heavy freight runs.


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SLSF T-54 #1527, Mobile

#1527 was donated to the City of Mobile in 1964 by the Frisco Line. It is one of several 1500s that did not sport the characteristic Frisco "Coon Skin" number plate under the head light.

The coon skin emblem, so Collias' Frisco Power (1962) reports, came out of an inspection made by Vice President Nettleton of the Frisco predecessor Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad at the turn of the 20th Century. His train pulled into Neosho, MO, his private car stopping in view of the west end of the depot building on which was tacked a raccoon hide to dry. Initially, Nettleton upbraided the Station Agent, Sam Albright, for using company property to tan hides. "Don't you know railroading comes first?", and then to Sam's surprise Nettleton grinned and said, "Well, having a hobby is O.K. How much will you take for that coon skin?"

Soon after, stylised outlines of the tightly stretched hide turned horizontally began appearing with the word 'FRISCO' inside, and the emblem progressively took off as a corporate logo. The original racoon skin was framed and hung for many years in the SLSF General Office Building in St. Louis, MO.