The ALCO PA-1 Diesel locomotive recently donated to the Museum of the American Railroad by the Smithsonian Institution has been loaded onto flatcars and readied for movement to Frisco, Texas. The locomotive carbody was loaded onto one flatcar and the unit’s two truck assemblies loaded onto another. Both flatcars were generously provided by BNSF Railway for the locomotive’s transport from Lebanon, Oregon to Frisco, Texas. BNSF, the line that originally purchased the historic locomotive in 1948 through its predecessor Santa Fe Railway, will provide transportation of the unit on a donation basis.
The locomotive, which was heavily damaged in a derailment while in service on the Mexican National Railway in 1981, will begin the final leg of its repatriation and eventual repairs & restoration in the States. Having recently regained its previous reporting marks of ATSF 59L, the locomotive will undergo thorough evaluation toward major carbody repairs and exterior finishing to its original Santa Fe grandeur after arrival in Texas. The ALCO PA-1 locomotives could be found pulling Santa Fe’s famous Texas Chief Streamliner in the early 1960s.
The Museum will soon embark on a national campaign to solicit funds from aficionados who have long followed the history and heritage of this famous locomotive. It is the culmination of the Smithsonian’s original quest to acquire and restore the locomotive as an icon of the nation’s post-war era of streamlined passenger trains. The Museum of the American Railroad will be the only repository for visitors to view a version of this engine painted in Santa Fe’s classic Warbonnet scheme.
The locomotive was loaded using crews and equipment donated by the Albany & Eastern Railroad along with noted railway preservationist Doyle McCormack and his crew. The two flatcars will soon begin the trip to Texas where the locomotive will arrive as the first installment of the Museum’s priceless collection of rolling stock in Frisco, Texas.
For more information, contact the Museum at (214) 428-0101.