1947 - 1949 FREEDOM TRAIN LOCOMOTIVE
by a diesel in the age of steam, the success of the train's ALCO
PA motive power in a sustained and demanding assignment demonstrated
the adaptability of the diesel to all conditions of track, gradient
and curvature, as well as vagaries of climate and weather. The PA
demonstrated its availability to handle the assignment on demand,
with no need to wait for a huge boiler to attain operating pressure.
And it passed by the steam locomotive's water tanks and coaling
tipples with no more than a blast from its air horn.
With an assignment
that received constant attention from the media and the public,
the role of the train's locomotive was scrutinized by management
and stockholders of dozens of America's railroads. The Freedom Train
inadvertently played a role in hastening dieselization and the demise
of mainline steam simply by setting a highly visible example of
the capability of its motive power.
Train's PA probably holds the record for "most kissed" locomotive
of all time.During the train's display date in Brooklyn, New York
and the usual lengthy wait in line to go aboard, about four thousand
high school girls planted big imprints of red lipstick on the engine
through the day, causing the white stripe between the red and blue
stripes to temporarily disappear! Or so they say.
The PA locomotive
proudly carried number 1776 and was named the "Spirit of 1776."
It carried ALCO builder's number 74696 and a construction date of
Text by Mr.
to Freedom Train...