The National Museum of Transportation is located in southwestern St. Louis near the suburb of Kirkwood. The museum was founded in 1944. The museum has on display the largest collection of steam locomotives in the United States. Not only is it the largest collection, but it includes some of the largest and most famous large steam locomotives from all over the USA. These steam locomotives include a UP Big Boy, a N&W 2-8-8-2, an AT&SF 2-10-4, an SP 4-8-4, a C&O 2-8-4, and a NYC 4-8-2. If you like large steam and lost of them, this is a good place to visit.
The museum exhibits are outdoors but mostly sheltered under roofs. Those locomotives around the perimeter of the shelters may be photographed relatively easily. Some locomotives are parked on interior tracks and are difficult to photograph. However, it is possible to gain access to most of them. The museum staff are very accommodating.
For more information, please visit the official National Museum of Transportaion web site.
5011 is one of five surviving AT&SF 2-10-4s. They were built by Baldwin primarily between 1938 and 1944. 5011 was part of the last of those groups built during the war. These represented the peak of rigid-wheelbase freight locomotives. However, because of their large 74 inch drivers, they were also used in passenger service.
Like the C&O and Nickle Plate Berkshires, these were considered "super power" locomotives. Baldwin described some feats by 5011, the class leader, in late 1944. 5011 took on Cordy Hill, a five-mile stretch on the Missouri Division (Argentine, Kan and Shopton, Ia). With a ruling grade of 0.8%, the locomotive began pulling 5,441 tons of train of 94 cars at 56 mph (90 kph) and summited the grade at 18 mph (29 kph). On another 0.8% grade that ran for only two miles, 5011 hauled 121 cars beginning at 52 mph and dropping no lower than 40 mph. See Locobase 91.
5011 is prominently displayed in the front of the Roberts Pavilion.
"Daniel Nason" was built in 1863 by the Boston & Providence Railroad in Roxbury, MA. It spent time on the Old Colony Railroad and then the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. In 1905 it was loaned to the Locomotive Testing Plant at Purdue University and remained there until 1951. It was sold to the museum in 1982.
"Daniel Nason" is the only surviving example of a "Dutch Wagon" locomotive where the cylinders are located inside the locomotive frame.
Daniel Nason is prominently displayed just inside the Roberts Pavilion.
This is a Lima-built Mikado for the Chicago & Illinois Midland. It is the sole survivor of the C&IM. It was used to haul coal trains from the Illinois Midland coal mines to Commonwealth Edison electricity generation plants. 551 was donated to the museum by the C&IM in 1955.
551 is displayed at the front of the train yard.
This is an older, 1905-built Pacific with spoked drivers and a tall stack. It was built by the Locomotive & Machine Works of Montreal for the Intercolonial Railway as their 346. In 1916 it was transferred to the Canadian Government Railways as their 425. It was renumbered to 5529 in 1919. Finally, the Canadian Government Railways was merged into Canadian National Railways in 1923. It was donated to the museum in 1958.
5529 is displayed in the Abbot Building.
274 is a 4-4-0 built in 1873 for the Chicago & North Western. It was later leased to the Winona & St. Peter as their 40. In 1908 it was donated to the Purdue University in Lafeyette, IN and came to the museum in 1951. Years ago, 274 was in good cosmetic condition. Today, it looks a bit weather-worn.
274 is displayed toward the rear of the Abbot Building.
2727 was built in 1944 by Alco. The C&O based this 2-8-4 design on the Lima 2-8-4s built for the Nickel Plate and Pere Marquette railroad. However, instead of using the more common "Berkshire" name, it called these "Kanawhas" after the Kanawha River, which paralleled its main line. 2727 was donated to the museum in 1956.
In total, the C&O purchased 90 of these locomotives. 20 of them were built by the Lima Locomotive Works and 70 were built by Alco.
2727 is one of 13 Kanawhas that were saved and donated to various cities. Of those 13, one of them, 2701 was vandalized so severely in Buffalo, NY that it had to be scrapped. 12 survive today.
2727 is prominently displayed at the front of the Roberts Pavilion.
952 was built by Alco in 1905 for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. In 1939 it was donated to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Scranton, PA. It was donated to the museum in 1953.
952 is a "Mother Hubbard" type locomotive sometimes called a "Camelback". Because of the wide firebox designed to burn anthracite coal, the cab was positioned straddling the boiler, leaving access to the firebox exposed to the elements. This design put both the fireman and engineer at risk and was banned in the late 1920s.
952 is displayed inside the Roberts Pavilion.
502 was built by Baldwin in 1916 for the Duluth, Missabe & Northern Railway. It was used as a slow "drag freight" locomotive for hauling iron ore. It was upgraded in the 1920s with a feedwater heater, a cast trailing truck with a booster and a larger tender. Those two devices were removed in the 1950s after these locomotives were replaced with more modern steam locomotives. 502 was donated to the museum in 1963 by the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range and is on display toward the rear of the main display shed.
502 is displayed at the rear of the Roberts Pavilion.
724 was built by Baldwin in 1896. In 1923 the locomotive got a new boiler. It was then sold to the East St. Louis Junction Railroad in 1941. In the early 1950s it was bought by St. Louis Material & Supply which later became Basic Materials in Pacific, MO. It was used to switch hopper cars of gravel until 1963 making it the last regularly scheduled operating steam locomotive in the St. Louis area. It was donated to the museum in 1963 by Basic Materials.
724 is painted in various non-traditional colors to help highlight the various components of a steam locomotive. It is displayed the main outdoor area in front of the main museum collection.
724 is displayed in the train yard.
764 was built in 1904 by Alco (Rogers) for the Illinois Central. It was built with an early type of Baker valve gear by the Pilliod Co. of Swanton, OH. 764 was used in mainline freight service. It was donated to the museum in 1955 by the Illinois Central and is displayed toward the rear of the main display shed.
764 is displayed at the rear of the Roberts Pavilion.
9 was built (as #10) in 1893 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the Lake Street Elevated Railroad in Chicago, IL. It was later sold to Ozone Lumber in Hampton, LA then McGraw Steel in Rusk, TX then Valencia Iron & Coke. It was originally named "Clarence A." and later named "Charles H. Deere" (son of John Deere).
It was obtained by the museum in 1958 from the La Consolidada, S.A. in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. 9 was cosmetically restored in 1996.
9 is displayed at the far end of the Roberts Pavilion.
2 was built in 1907 by the Davenport Locomotive Company for the Purington Paving Brick Co of Galesburg, IL. It is a 30" gauge tramway locomotive that was later used for hauling clay for Laclede Christy of St. Louis. It was donated to the museum in 1952 by the Laclede Christy Company.
2 is displayed in the parking lot toward the museum entry.
311 was built in 1890 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. In 1923 it was rebuilt by M-K-T and received a new boiler, steam chests, steel cab, new tender, and converted to burn oil. It was overhauled again in 1945 to power the "Katy Flyer". It then toured the M-K-T system to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the line's "Winning the West." It was donated to the museum in 1952 by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and is the only preserved Katy steam locomotive.
311 is displayed inside the Abbot Building.
2156 was built by the N&W Roanoke Shops in 1942. It is a heavy drag mallet freight locomotive. It was retired from service in 1959 and then donated to the museum by the N&W.
It was cosmetically restored in 1985. 2156 was loaned to the Virginia Museum of Transportation from 2015 to 2020. During that time an EMD FTB demonstrator was loaned to this museum and displayed with their FTA 103.
2156 is a true Mallet steam locomotive. This means that it uses two-stage steam expansion. The two rear cylinders (in the middle of the locomotive) received steam at boiler pressure (300 psi). After expanding in the high-pressure cylinders, the steam would then be re-used in the front, larger, low-pressure cylinders. This process increased efficiency by extracting more energy from the steam before being exhausted. When run in this way, this locomotive could produce 126,831 pounds of pulling force.
Like many Mallets, 2156 could be temporarily run in "simple" mode when starting. This mode allowed higher pressure steam into the larger front cylinders. When run in this mode, the locomotive could produce 152,206 pounds of pulling force. That is more pulling force than produced by the Big Boy (135,375). It should be noted that "simple" mode was normally used just for starting a train and these locomotives were designed to use two-stage steam expansion.
2156 is displayed in the yard between the Abbot Building and Roberts Pavilion.
2933 was built in 1929 by Alco for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway as their 6233. In 1936 it was transferred to the New York Central and renumbered 2933. It is a 4-8-2 "Mohawk" type. It was retired in 1955 and then donated to the museum in 1962.
2933 was cosmetically restored in 1985 and is displayed in the front of the Roberts Pavilion.
170 was built in 1927 by Alco for the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad. This was the second 4-6-4 Hudson ever built. It was donated to the museum in 1957.
170 is displayed toward the east end of the Roberts Pavilion.
This is a steam inspection locomotive built by Baldwin in 1889 for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. It is believed to be the last steam inspection locomotive in existence. It was donated to the museum in 1948 by the Reading Railroad.
Black Diamond is displayed just inside the Roberts Pavilion.
1522 was built in 1926 by Baldwin for the St. Louis - San Francisco railroad. The SLSF used it until 1951 when it was retired. It was donated to the museum in 1959.
The St. Louis Steam Train Association restored the locomotive to operating condition, completing the work in 1988. It powered excursion trains until 2002 when it was retired a second time. The rear truck is equipped with a booster.
1522 is displayed inside the Roberts Pavilion.
1621 was built in 1918 by Baldwin for the Russian government as a broad gauge (5 foot gauge) locomotive. Instead of going to Russia, it was converted to standard gauge and given to the Pennsylvania Railroad who later sold it to the St. Louis - San Francisco Railway. It was later sold to Eagle-Picher to haul lead ore. It was donated to the museum in 1961.
1621 is displayed in the front train yard.
4460 was built in 1943 by Lima for the Southern Pacific. The GS-5 and GS-6 classes had roller bearings on all axles. Having been built during WWII, the War Production Board would not permit the SP to build more GS passenger locomotives. The SP redefined GS to mean "General Service" instead of "Golden State" and specified that this group would be used for freight as well as passenger service. The board approved the purchase. Due to war-time shortages, no skirting was applied to this class. Also, they were painted black instead of the orange and red paint scheme used on the former GS locomotives. It was donated to the museum in 1959.
4460 was used by the SP in excursion service in 1958. It was donated to the museum in 1959.
4460 is displayed at the far corner of the Roberts Pavilion.
635 was built by Baldwin in 1889. 635 was last used on the Sedalia-Warsaw, MO line. 635 received a new pilot in 2015. It was donated to the museum in 1966.
635 is displayed inside the Abbot Building.
318 was built by the Terminal Railroad Association, Brooklyn, IL in 1926. It features a one-piece cast frame which incorporates the cylinders -- the first of this type. This design eliminated the need for individual parts to be bolted or riveted together. The museum purchased 318 from the TRRA in 1956. It was cosmetically restored in the early 1990s.
318 is displayed at the rear of the Roberts Pavilion.
4006 was built by Alco in 1941 for the Union Pacific. 4006 was placed in storage by the Union Pacific in September 1957. In 1961, it was retired with 1,064,625 miles on it -- the most of any Big Boy. It was donated to the museum in 1961 with the tender of 4003. Before arriving at the museum, 4006 spent a year being cosmetically restored in the Alton & Southern shop in East St. Louis.
4006 was painted in 1995 and is displayed directly ahead of UP Centennial 6944. Stairs provide access to the cab where most controls are identified.
573 was built by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in 1899 for the Wabash Railroad as their 754. It was renumbered to 573 in 1915. 573 was donated to the museum in 1955.
573 was one of the last steam locomotives to run on the Wabash.
573 is displayed inside the Roberts Pavilion.
12 was built in August, 1926 by the American Locomotive Company for the Alton & Southern. It is one of only five surviving three-cylinder locomotives in the United States. It ran primarily in East St. Louis for 22 years before being donated to the museum in 1948.
12 is buried between other rolling stock in the Roberts Pavilion.
39 was built in 1876 by the Boston & Albany Railroad in Springfield, MA. In 1908 it was donated to the Purdue University. In 1951 the Purdue University donated it to the museum.
It was one of 100 "Eddy Clocks" known for their precise running and clock-like dependability and is the only surviving example.
Marmora is displayed at the rear of the Abbot Building.
173 was built in 1873 at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's Mt. Clare shops as their 373. It was renumbered to 173 in 1884 and then donated to the Locomotive Testing Plant at Purdue University in 1901. It was donated to the museum in 1951 by the Purdue University. Since 2017 it has been undergoing cosmetic restoration.
173 is one of five surviving "Camelback" type locomotives. It is one of only two "Camels", which is the proper name for this locomotive where the cab is centrally located atop the boiler yet the engine has a relatively narrow firebox located between the driving wheels.
173 is being cosmetically restored inside the workshop.
1015 was built in 1900 for passenger service on the Chicago & North Western railroad. It has 80-inch drives which allowed it to reach speeds up to 100 mph. It was assigned to the "Overland Limited" which had nine wooden coaches. It was retired after suburban service in Chicago in 1946. It was the very first steam locomotive donated to the museum in 1948.
This locomotive has an unusual layout of piston valves. Instead of the normal location on top of the cylinders, these were offset to the inside and were actuated by Stephenson linkage inside the drivers. It has been said that these locomotives were very easy to fire. They had two fire doors which were conducive to light-firing. Despite their relatively low tractive effort of 22,100 lbs, they were able to bring trains to speed in a relatively short time.
This locomotive is sitting at the rear of the museum. Its cab has collapsed. However, it is considered to be a prime candidate for restoration. Perhaps that will begin once the 4-6-0 Camel restoration is completed.
7 is a fireless locomotive built by Lima in 1910 for National Cash Register of Dayton, OH. It is named "South Park". 7 was donated to the museum in 1963.
7 is buried between rolling stock in back of the Abbot Building.
95 was built by Baldwin in 1906 for the St. Louis - San Francisco Railroad as their 3695. In 1937 it was sold to Scullin Steel in St. Louis, MO who renumbered it to 95. It was donated to the museum in 1956.
Its tender has Scullin trucks.
95 is buried between rolling stock in the Roberts Pavilion.
146 was built by Alco in 1916. It has the rare Young valve gear. Only the chassis survives and is kept stored in a tunnel on the museum site.
1 was built by Baldwin in 1929 for the McClellan & Junkersfield. It was later sold to the Union Electric Light & Power Company. It was used in the construction of the Bagnell Dam in MO. It was operated at the museum in the 1980s before its 1,472-day inspection. Sometime during the rebuilt, work on the locomotive stopped. It is currently stored at the museum.
1 is buried between rolling stock in the back of the Abbot Building.
2 was built by Heisler in 1941 for the Union Electric Company of Venice, IL. It was donated to the Transport Museum Association in Brooklyn, IL then later moved to the museum in 1983. At one point it was painted with a face on the front which can still be seen in the photo.
2 is buried between rolling stock in the back of the Abbot Building.
22 was built in 1943 by the American Locomotive Company for the Atlanta & Saint Andrews Bay Line as number 905. It was sold in 1955 to the Tennessee Railway as there 1. It ended its career on the Arkansas & Missouri pulling excursion trains.
8 was built in 1948 by the Whitcomb Locomotive Works. It is a 65-ton B-B switcher with two 400 horsepower engines and four traction motors. It was donated to the museum in 1980.
4916 is stored away in the "Abbot Building" between other railroad equipment. It was built in 1942 by General Electric as PRR 4918. 4916 was once stored in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
9908 was built by Budd/EMD in April 1939 for CB&Q's St. Louis to Kansas City route. It was donated to the museum in 1966 by the CB&Q. There is one other surviving CB&Q Model AA. It is the 1934-built #9000 Pioneer Zephyr on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
There were only nine of this type of locomotive built. It had a unique wheel arrangement. Like an EMD E-unit, it had an A1A truck on the front powered by a 1000HP V-12 diesel. However, the rear, two-axle truck was unpowered. Thus, the wheel arrange was A1A-2.
This CB&Q E8 was built by EMD in January, 1950. It was used in passenger and commuter services. It was built with two 1,125 hp, 12-cylinder engines.
This electric locomotive was built in 1919 by General Electric. It was one of only five class EP-2 locomotives. These locomotives looked like two smaller locomotives were combined with a box in the middle. The wheel arrangement was 1B-D+D-B1. They were used between Othello and Tacoma, WA where the CMStP&P had electrified their Mountain Division in 1915.
EMD introduced a streamlined trainset called the Aerotrain in 1955. The streamlined mimicked the design of automobiles that were available at the time. The cars were made from modified 40-seat bus bodies.
The Aerotrains were tested by a number of railroads but never totally caught on. They were rough riding. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific bought two of the train sets at a discount and used them for 10 years. Both engines with two cars each are preserved.
103 was built by the Electro-Motive Corporation in 1939 as an FTA demonstrator. It was purchased from the EMC by the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific (Southern Railway) as their 6100A in 1941. It was donated to the museum in 1961 by the Southern Railway.
4502 was one of 12 RS-3s built in 1955 by Alco for the Missouri Pacific. In 1975 the MP sold it to the Bauxite & Northern short line. Equity Grain then purchased it for switching purposes at its grain elevator. 4502 was retired in 1992 when it suffered a broken crank shaft. It was sold to the museum in 1996 and cosmetically restored to its MP paint between 2000 and 2006.
408 was built by the EMC in 1937. It is an NC switcher. N = nine hundred horsepower. C = cast frame. It was donated to the museum in 1974 by the Sabine River & Northern. 408 received fresh paint in 2014.
9000081 was built by the Union Pacific in 1966. It is not self-propelled. The operator controls both the rotary blower as well as the locomotives used to push it. At 376,400 lbs, it is the heaviest rotary snow plow ever built.
2002 was built by EMD in 1952 for the United States Army. It is an SW8 (Switcher - 800 HP). 309 units were built the the United States and 65 units were built for Canadian railroads. The US Army ordered 41 units numbered 2000 through 2040 for use in the Korean War.
B-2069 was built by Alco in 1952 for the United States Army. MRS-1 (Military Road Switcher) locomotives were built with 3-axle, multi-gauge trucks to reduce the axle loading and to accommodate wheel sets from standard gauge on up to 5'-6" gauge. A total of 83 Alco MRS-1s were built numbering 2041 through 2123.
Most of these locomotives were placed in storage in Marietta, PA awaiting military use in a war. However, such a war never occured and in 1970 these unused locomotives were considered redundant by the Army. They were transferred to the United States Navy. A number of these locomotives survive today in museum across the country.