Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Great Northern #2584, Havre, Montana

Great Northern S-2 4-8-4 #2584 at Havre, Montana in February 2000

On display next to the depot in Havre is former Great Northern Railroad 4-8-4 steam locomotive #2584.  A sign next to the locomotive tells its history:

This Northern type locomotive, survivor of the last steam engines acquired by the Great Northern Railway for main-line passenger service, was placed on permanent exhibition here on May 15, 1964.

A powerful and speedy locomotive, this engine now looks every bit the aristocrat that it was during the yrs. of its pre-eminent association with the Empire Builder and the Oriental Limited. The Empire Builder was inaugurated in June, 1929, and was pulled by a Mountain type locomotive, but popularity of the train led to addition of cars to the consist, and this necessitated more powerful engines.

In 1930 Great Northern acquired 14 Class S-2 steam locomotives from Baldwin Locomotive Works for service on the Empire Builder and the Fast Mail trains. This engine – No 2564 - is the last of the 14 engines. Samuel Vauclain, President of Baldwin described the Class S-2 engines as "the finest, most powerful steam passenger locomotives ever built up to this time." These engines were operated in freight service after the Empire Builder was streamlines and diesel powered in 1947, and were retired in 1955.

Locomotive and tender are 103 feet 3 inches long, weight 764,680 pounds, and height from rail to top of stack is 16 feet. No 2584 was an oil burner and developed 58,305 pounds of tractive effort. Each of the 8 drive wheels is 80 inches high.

The track on which No 2584 stands is laid to Great Northern main line specifications. The creosoted ties are supported on a sub-ballast consisting of 6 inches of crushed rock chips and a ballast consisting of 6 inches of crushed pink quartzite rock. Both of which are quarried by the Great Northern in Montana. Welded rails fully tie plated and anchored, weight 115 pounds to the yard.

Great Northern S-2 4-8-4 #2584 at Havre, Montana in May 2003

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