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American Freedom Train
Locomotive #4449

Former Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive 4449 was pulled from Oaks Park in Portland, OR on December 14,1974 to begin restoration to pull the American Freedom Train.

Image: Tom Nosera collection. 1971

 
 

A local railfan named John Monterey (Jack) Holst had for years kept the locomotive's critical parts oiled in hopes it might one day steam again. He didn't live to see the day his efforts paid off. Jack died on August 26, 1972. He was 38. There is now a brass plaque inside the locomotive's cab in his memory.

Image: John Hill collection

American Freedom Train 4449  
 

4449 was the locomotive of choice to pull the AFT through the west and south. The locomotive's clean lines, large size, and pulling power (especially at speed) made it the perfect candidate for the AFT.

Photographed at Minneapolis

Image: John Hill collection

American Freedom Train 4449  
 

 

Wile pulling the AFT its number boards on the smokebox read X4449. While pulling the Southern Steam Special in 1976 and most of the Amtrak Transcontinental Steam Excursion in 1977 the number boards read simply 4449.

Image: Tom Nosera at Hialeah, Florida 1977

American Freedom Train 4449  
 


4449 wore her original orange and red "Daylight" paint scheme through most of the 80's and 90's, and appeared this way in the 1986 Disney film 'Tough Guys' with Burt Lancaster, Michael Douglas, Eli Wallach, Charles Durning, and Dana Carvey. (Doyle L."You're Crazy -- Nobody Robs Trains Anymore" McCormack played the train engineer -- as he did on the AFT.)

Image: Todd Schannuth, 1996 Portland, OR.

Southern Pacific Daylight 4449  
 

In the late 1990s, the locomotive was painted almost completely black.

 

Image: Jim Fitzgerald, June 2001, Portland, OR.

BNSF 4449  
  After 9/11, the Daylight locomotive was repainted to American Freedom Train colors for a couple of years. The only visible difference was the silver metal stripes on the pilot. In 1975-76 the stripes had been painted-on in white. The number boards were brought forward to their AFT position.

Image: Todd Schannuth at Hillsboro, OR 2002

 
 

It is the only locomotive to have pulled cars from both Freedom Trains, pulling the observation car Central Plains from the 1947 train as part of the 'Spirit of the West' business excursion in 1988 (by then the Central Plains was SP business car "Oregon").

Today, the locomotive is back to its original "as delivered" orange and red Daylight paint.

The locomotive still runs in excursion service nearly every year. More on the locomotive today can be found at 4449.com

The question sometime comes up -- "How many states has the locomotive been to in it's lifetime?"

The answer is 35.

Shall we count? Starting with its taking over at the head of the AFT in Chicago in 1975:

1) Illinois
2) Wisconsin
3) Minnesota
4)
North Dakota
5) Iowa
6) South Dakota
7) Nebraska
Sidetracked in Omaha with a wheel trim problem, the locomotive missed going to Montana with the AFT, but did hit Wyoming and the extreme Northeast corner of Colorado on the ferry trip to catch up with the AFT.
8) Colorado
9) Wyoming
10) Utah
11) Idaho
12) Oregon
13) Washington
14) California
15) Nevada
16) Arizona
17) New Mexico
18) Texas
19) Oklahoma
20) Kansas
21) Missouri
22) Arkansas
23) Tennessee
24) Mississippi
25) Louisiana
26) Alabama
27) Georgia -- Off the AFT, but on a Southern Railway excursion trip to DC to catch up with it.
28) South Carolina
29
) North Carolina
30) Virginia (rejoined the AFT in DC)
31) Florida

Other states prior to the AFT:
32) Ohio -- The locomotive was built in Lima, Ohio in 1941.
33) Indiana -- Passed through in 1941 on delivery to the Cotton Belt at East St. Louis (and on to Los Angeles via El Paso).

After the AFT:
34) Montana -- on excursion trips.

35) Michigan -- on an excursion trip.

Many thanks to Al Phillips, John Lewis, and Arlen Sheldrake for helping compile this list of visited states! You can find much more information about the real locomotive at 4449.com

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