Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SP #4449 & SP&S #700 at the Portland Union Station Centennial

Southern Pacific Daylight GS-4 4-8-4 #4449 & Spokane, Portland & Seattle E-1 4-8-4 #700 at Union Station in Portland, Oregon, on May 11, 1996

At the 100th Anniversary of Union Station in Portland, Oregon, on May 11, 1996, Portland's two operating mainline steam locomotives, Southern Pacific #4449 and Spokane, Portland & Seattle #700, were displayed side-by-side. Both are 4-8-4-type locomotives. #4449 is a GS-4 class locomotive, built by the Lima Locomotive Works in 1941 for glamorous service pulling Southern Pacific's premier Daylight streamlined passenger trains in Southern California. It was replaced by diesels and retired on October 2, 1957. #700 in one of three 4-8-4s built for the SP&S in 1938 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These locomotives were identical to A-3 class locomotives then being delivered to SP&S's parent, the Northern Pacific Railway, except that the SP&S locomotives burned oil instead of coal. By 1955, the SP&S had completed dieselization and was ready to retire the last of its steam locomotives. After pulling 1,400 passengers on a 21-car Farewell to Steam Excursion between Portland and Wishram, Washington on May 20, 1956, #700 joined the rest of SP&S's steam locomotives in a scrap line. After the Union Pacific offered the City of Portland 4-6-2 Pacific #3203 to display in a park, SP&S donated #700 on January 13, 1958, and would be the only SP&S or NP Northern to survive; in fact only one other SP&S steam locomotive survived. Southern Pacific donated #4449 to the City of Portland on April 24, 1958. All three locomotives were put on static display at Oaks Amusement Park. On December 14, 1974, #4449 was removed from Oaks Park and moved to Burlington Northern's Hoyt Street Roundhouse near Union Station for restoration to pull the American Freedom Train, a museum train of American artifacts that traveled the country in celebration of the Bicentennial in 1976. #4449's boiler was put to steam on April 18, 1975 for the first time since 1957. She moved under her own power on April 21, and was christened on May 16. She left Portland on June 20 to take over the Freedom Train in Chicago on August 4. #4449 pulled the Freedom Train for the rest of its tour until it ended in Miami on December 31, 1976. #4449 returned to Portland by pulling a series of "Amtrak Transcontinental Steam Excursions" across the South and West in April, 1977, still in its Freedom Train paint but with the "Amtrak" name added to the tender. #4449 arrived in Portland on May 1, having visited at least 30 states (many more than once) during its Freedom Train and Amtrak Excursion travels, and was placed in indoor storage. In 1981, #4449 emerged, restored to the post-WWII version of its Daylight paint. After #4449's restoration, 15-year-old Chris McLarney founded the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association in 1977 to restore #700. The locomotive returned to operation in 1990.

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