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All Aboard America

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Here Comes The American Freedom Train


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President Gerald Ford

The four corporate sponsors were General Motors Corporation, the Pepsi Cola Company, Kraft Foods and Prudential Insurance Company Of America. Each has been supported by a modest admission price to the public to defray operating cost for the train. Any surplus funds at the end of the Freedom Train’s tour were to be donated to charity. Thus, the American Freedom Train Foundation, is a non-political foundation, and operates without any federal funding.

For many years steam locomotives had not been used as the motive power on American railroads except on excursions or on rail museum trackage. Finding suitable steam motive power, making it operational, and setting up power necessary servicing facilities along the route became a formidable task for the foundation. After a nationwide search, two steam locomotives each capable of handling the 26 car Freedom Train, and meeting certain railroad operating requirements in different parts of the country, were finally selected. The first locomotive was located in a city park in Portland, Oregon. Locomotive # 4449 loaned by the city of Portland, after Portland received approval from engines original owners the Southern Pacific railroad ( Photo 2 ). Built in 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works Of Lima, Ohio, #4449 was one of 50 Golden State Engines designed and built specifically for services on the Southern Pacific’s "coast daylight’ passenger trains that ran between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Amtrak operates the service between those cities today using diesel locomotives. While #4449

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While #4449 was being removed from the display pedestal in the Portland park and undergoing rebuilding, a similar project was getting underway across the country in Baltimore, Maryland. A former Reading Railroad locomotive was located in a scrap yard and selected for Freedom Train service for the eastern portion of the Freedom Train’s journey. The Reading Railroad T-1 locomotive also has a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. Number 2101 was one of 30 engines of her type built in 1946 at the Reading Company shops in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was designed for both heavy freight and passengers in post-war America. A third Steam locomotive, an ex-Texas & Pacific 2-10-4 rebuilt by the 610 Historical foundation, pulled the train throughout the State Of Texas.

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Note !!!!! Page Numbers 3 through Page Number 5
Are Dedictated To The American Freedom Train

Revised: September 03, 2007

 

 

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