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American Freedom Train
Locomotive #1

The former Reading #2101 was pulled from the yard of the Streigel Supply Company for an emergency overhaul to pull the American Freedom Train. More on that here...

Here, the T-1 appears in its first of three paint schemes ready to couple to the train for the first time on March 28, 1975.

Image: Ron Goldfeder

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

AFT Locomotive #1 in its second paint scheme with its new auxiliary tender, added around the time the train was moving into Ohio.

Image: William Brandon, photographer. George Elwood scan.

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

AFT Locomotive #1 on its last day in its second paint scheme -- headed into Chicago where it handed over duty to the 4449 locomotive.

Image: Don Crimmin

More of Don's photography can be found at RailPictures.net

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

AFT Locomotive #1 in its third paint scheme.

Repainted during its overhaul in Birmingham, AL, the locomotive was now lettered GEORGE S. CASHMAN on the cab.

Gene Cashman was a successful floor trader on the Chicago Board of Trade. AFT Founder Ross Rowland's brother Bob was also a trader -- and convinced Gene to donate $100,000 to the AFT when the Foundation was broke in 1973. This allowed the concept to survive long enough to get the traction it needed.

All Gene asked was that the locomotive carry the name of his brother who had died of cancer.

Promise kept.

Image: Ron Goldfeder

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

AFT Locomotive #1 on display at the Pentagon, having uncoupled from the train for the last time.

At the Pentagon, the dome atop the locomotive was lettered The High Iron Company in white, barely visible in this image.

Image: Tom Nosera

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

AFT Locomotive #1 on display at the Pentagon.

Today, the locomotive is in the collection of the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. But not the tender.

 

Image: Tom Nosera

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
 

Following the AFT, 2101 was used for the Chessie Steam Specials. A roundhouse fire damaged the locomotive and it was cosmetically restored to its AFT paint and traded to the B&O Railroad Museum in exchange for locomotive #614.

After the roundhouse fire the tender from 2101 was in worse shape than the tender off 2100 (which was purchased from Streigel Supply Company for parts at the same time as 2101). So a switch was made -- the tender from 2100 was cosmetically restored and painted AFT colors. This is the tender at the B&O Museum today.

The tender from 2101 stayed with locomotive 2100 until that locomotive too was restored to service and has traveled with it ever since.

In recent years it has been converted to carry oil rather than coal and most recently saw use in excursion service in Tacoma,WA.

Image: Lee Bishop, August 2006

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101 tender on 2100  
 

After two years on the American Freedom Train, two years on the Chessie Steam Specials, and one roundhouse fire, the locomotive was cosmetically restored and presented to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad museum to become part of their permanent collection.

This is the program from the September 3, 1979 ceremony.

 

Images: John Finnin collection

American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
    American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
    American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
  Return to Roster... American Freedom Train 1, ex Reading 2101  
       
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