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American Freedom Train #1

When the American Freedom Train hit the high iron in 1975 and 1976, its most high-profile stars were the steam locomotives that led it.

Former Southern Pacific GS4 "Daylight" 4-8-4 #4449 was the most well-known of these, but it could not fit into some of the more restricted loading gauges in the northeast.

For these, the creators of the AFT called upon former Reading T-1 4-8-4 #2101, and rescued it from a Baltimore, Md. scrapyard where it had sat since the mid-1960s.

The "Iron Horse Ramble" veteran is shown here as AFT #1 in Boston, Mass. during the American Freedom Train's visit there in April 1975.

Both the 4449 and the 2101 survive today. The 4449, owned by the city of Portland, Ore., remains in operating condition under the care of a volunteer organization, and moved into a new restoration facility and interpretive center in September 2012. The 2101 is in the collection of the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

Photographed by Thomas McCann, April 27, 1975.
Added to the photo archive by Thomas McCann, June 6, 2010.
Railroad: American Freedom Train.

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