Frisco steam locomotive #4501 arrived at its new home in Frisco, Texas late last night. At 11:00pm, BNSF crews eased the 800,000 lb. locomotive into the Museum of the American Railroad's new site where it will entertain and educate new generations of North Texans. Representing an era when steam was king of the rails, the #4501 was every bit as graceful during its 55-mile trek to Frisco as it was when delivered new in 1942.
Frisco #4501 is one of over 40 pieces of rolling stock currently being relocated to Frisco as part of the Museum's move to the new 12.34-acre venue. With the arrival of #4501 in Frisco, only the massive Union Pacific "Big Boy" #4018 steam locomotive, Santa Fe F-7A diesel locomotive, and two boxcars remain at the Museum's old location in Dallas' Fair Park. Those pieces are scheduled to move in mid-June.
The striking Meteor paint scheme glistened in the afternoon sun as #4501 made its way along main line trackage between Dallas and Frisco. The lines were dotted with onlookers, punctuated by crowds at major vantage points like Dallas Union Station, Irving, and Carrollton. Accompanied by 10 modern tank cars for additional braking, the train proceeded at the slow, but steady pace of 10mph. The entire move took 13 hours due to high volumes of rail traffic and periodic inspection stops.
The 71-year-old locomotive, a product of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, performed flawlessly. Scott Lindsay of Steam Operations Corporation in Birmingham accompanied the locomotive and was elated at its performance. Great care and diligence went into the preparation for Sunday's trip. Scott and the Museum's dedicated Steam Crew spent weeks inspecting, polishing, and lubricating running gear components such as wheel and side rod journals.
We are indebted to the Railroads for their continued commitment to the Museum's move. Both the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern (DGNO) Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway provided dedicated crews for the special run. A number of people at both Railroads devoted a part of their Memorial Day weekend to the move in order to accommodate the Museum and expedite #4501's relocation from Fair Park. For that, the Museum is indebted to those individuals and the DGNO and BNSF.
Frisco #4501 was just one of hundreds of steam locomotives operated by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad. The City of Frisco gets its name from the line, which was constructed in 1902. The town of Frisco was platted in the vicinity of a water stop that replenished thirsty steam locomotives between Sherman and Irving.