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BNSF Railway, Martin Marietta, and the Museum of the American Railroad Team Up to Save a Piece of TX History

FRISCO, TX (September 26, 2014) - After 65 years of faithful service, the Martin Marietta (formerly TXI) Midlothian Cement Plant’s locomotive #2447 will move to its new home and use as an educational resource at the Museum of the American Railroad this weekend.  It had reached the end of its career, but unlike most trains at the end of their usefulness, the engine did not fall victim of the scrapper's torch.  In fact, the scrapper is credited with initiating the effort to save the engine.    

The metal recycler notified the Museum of the locomotive's eminent demise, and recommended that it be saved.  The engine's historical significance was brought to the attention of Martin Marietta’s management team, who were more than willing to work with the Museum and ensure its existence. 

One final hurdle had to be overcome - moving the locomotive nearly 60 miles to Frisco.  Enter, BNSF railway.  After a few inspections and repairs, BNSF graciously agreed to donate movement of the 250,000 lb. machine to Frisco on its own wheels.  The locomotive is part of  BNSF's lineage, having worked on lines of the Santa Fe Railway for the first 35 years of its life. 

The locomotive has strong Texas roots.  It was manufactured by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in 1949 and served in its original configuration until 1977.  Rather than be retired, it became part of one of the most extensive locomotive re-manufacturing projects in the railroad industry.  Known as the CF-7 Program, #2447 was one of 232 to receive a completely new exterior, along with major mechanical repairs and upgrades. 

The work was accomplished at Santa Fe Railway's massive Cleburne Shops.  The facility was once the largest industry in Cleburne, employing the majority of the town.  The Shops were known for innovation, design excellence, and quality workmanship.  Locomotive #2447 provided another decade of reliable service on Santa Fe's Texas lines following re-manufacturing.  It was sold in 1984 to TXI, where it switched 100-ton rail cars of raw materials and finished product in and out of their Midlothian cement plant. Click here to learn more about the CF-7 Program.

The Museum of the American Railroad is very grateful to Martin Marietta and BNSF Railway for their sensitivity and generosity toward preservation of locomotive #2447.  The engine will be used as a learning tool in the Museum's new STEM-based educational programs, emphasizing the benefits of adaptive reuse and the economies of upgrading existing designs using new technologies and manufacturing methods.  Engine #2447 joins CF-7 running mate #2428, which was donated to the Museum in 2013 by TXI's Hunter Plant in New Braunfels.    

The Museum of the American Railroad is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit Texas Corporation chartered in 1962.  The Museum enriches the lives of others through meaningful, relevant programs and exhibits that relate the history & technology of the Railroad and its profound impact on American life and culture.  For educational programs and outreach, click here.

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