Museum of the American Railroad

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Travelers Advisory:

The Museum's Frisco site is currently under construction. Information on scheduled walking tours of the collection can be found here.

Please visit our interim exhibits at the Frisco Heritage Museum two blocks north.

Museum of the American Railroad
Interim Offices, Exhibits, and
Museum Store
  Located in the Frisco Heritage Museum
6455 Page Street, Frisco, TX 75034
(214) 428-0101

Heritage Museum Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm
Sunday, 1pm - 5pm

Please phone Artreach Booking Service to schedule educational programs or in-class presentations
(214) 219-2049

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Collection Introduction Minimize
These venerable old trains exist today because of the hard work and dedication of a relatively small number of people.  It all began in 1961 when the founders of our museum realized that not only had the era of luxurious steam powered passenger trains come to a close, but little even remained of their existence.  Over the next several years, they set out to save what precious few pieces of equipment were left.  Some were graciously donated by the railroads upon retirement; others were literally pulled from the scrap lines.  These are the survivors – the lucky ones – perhaps a little rough but they are tangible evidence of our heritage. 

Pullman Sleeping Car "Goliad" arrives at the Age of Steam, 1965. A new generation of committed individuals is working to steward this museum into the next century.  But such an endeavor is not an easy one.  Historic preservation often faces challenging circumstances.  We’re constantly seeking additional sources of support as we carry out our mission.  We do our best to maintain the collection and minimize the effects of time and exposure.  We do this in an effort to preserve an important part of history along with a sense of pride in our community. 

There are many stories behind the iron and steel artifacts that are gathered here.  They have undoubtedly touched many lives.  We hope you enjoy your visit.  While some of you will relive the past, others will discover it for the first time.  This collection is part of your heritage.  If you leave here more enlightened and enriched, then we consider our efforts to have been a success.
Collection Overview Minimize
Main » Diesel-Electric Locomotives » Train Details
Southern Pacific Fairbanks-Morse H12-44

Build Date: 1956
Builder: Fairbanks-Morse, Beloit, Wisconsin
Current Status: Operational
Road: Southern Pacific

Fairbanks Morse had a successful diesel engine design which had been used on much of the US Navy's wartime submarine fleet. By putting two pistons in each cylinder, the design generated almost twice as much power from the same number of cylinders as contemporary offerings. With the tremendous potential market for diesel locomotives, Fairbanks Morse  made its entry with what was at the time the most powerful diesel power plant available. Unfortunately, the unique engine design also made the locomotives relatively difficult to maintain.

The Southern Pacific railroad was in the final stages of replacing steam locomotives at the time Number 1581 was delivered. Most of Southern Pacific's 61 unit Fairbanks-Morse fleet was based in the San Francisco Bay area but operated as far east as El Paso. In 1965, number 1581 was renumbered to 2379 and repainted from orange and black "tiger stripes" into the dark gray and scarlet paint scheme. All of Southern Pacific's Fairbanks-Morse locomotives were retired by 1975, with 2379 being resold and used by Southwest Portland Cement in west Texas. The Age of Steam Railroad Museum purchased the locomotive with a generous gift from Lawrence Muir in 1993.
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