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Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust to Fund Preservation of Historic Santa Fe Locomotives

(FRISCO, TX):  The Museum of the American Railroad (MAR) has been awarded a grant from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust which will allow for the acquisition and preservation of four historically significant diesel locomotives – three of which operated on the Santa Fe Railway.  

The California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) in Sacramento made the four pieces available to the Museum of the American Railroad following a restructuring of their collection and refocusing of new exhibits.  Three of the locomotives are part of the Historic Santa Fe Collection assembled by the line’s management in the 1970s and 1980s in an effort to preserve the road’s legacy in an era of impending mergers.  The collection was conveyed to CSRM after years of storage in Santa Fe’s Albuquerque roundhouse.  The fourth CSRM locomotive is a surplus piece that will be a companion to an existing locomotive in the MAR collection.      

The grant to the Museum of the American Railroad covers the cost of loading the locomotives onto flatcars, shipping them to Texas, and cosmetically restoring their exteriors.  “We are thrilled to receive enough funding to not only acquire and make improvements to the locomotives, but also to add them to the Museum’s collection as teaching tools for cultural and STEM programming.  We are very grateful to the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust,” says the Museum’s Chief Operating Officer, Kellie Murphy.    

The locomotives include:

  • ATSF #2260, a model DS44-1000 diesel-electric switch engine manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, PA, 1948
  • ATSF #608, a model H12-44 diesel-electric switch engine manufactured by Fairbanks Morse & Company, Beloit, WI, 1951
  • ATSF #2404, a model NW2 diesel-electric switch engine manufactured by the Electro Motive Corporation, LaGrange, IL, 1939
  • SP #8103, a model F7-B diesel-electric locomotive booster unit manufactured by the Electromotive Division of General Motors, LaGrange, IL, 1949 (to be cosmetically restored to Santa Fe livery and coupled to the Museum's EMD F-7A locomotive)

The locomotives represent some of the earliest internal combustion technology employed by the railroads during the transition from steam to diesel, and represent three manufacturers, two of which no longer exist.  They join MAR’s collection of historic rolling stock from the Santa Fe Railway, which currently numbers 14.  Now part of BNSF Railway, Santa Fe helped define the American Southwest, transporting people and goods between Chicago, California, and Texas.  The Museum is proud to preserve the legacy of BNSF’s predecessor lines, and serve as one of the nation’s largest repositories of Santa Fe history and technology.  BNSF and its predecessor lines have supported the Museum since its inception.  The line has been a major contributor to the Museum’s recent relocation and expansion in Frisco, Texas. 

The gift from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust reaffirms, on a national level, the Museum’s mission and one of its core values of preservation and interpretation.  The acquisition of these significant Santa Fe pieces adds value to the Museum’s exhibits and programming, further increasing its attractiveness as a cultural tourism destination.

“We are very appreciative of CSRM’s gift and their faith in our Museum to provide a permanent home for these historic pieces.  This demonstrates the partnerships that exist in the railroad museum community to provide sanctuary for important pieces that represent our nation’s rail heritage.  The project is a good fit for the Trust and the Museum,” said Bob LaPrelle, MAR’s CEO. 

For more information about the Museum of the American Railroad, visit, Friend us at, and follow us on Twitter @HistoricTrains.  Additional information about the Museum’s Santa Fe Collection can be found here.

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