Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, Missouri

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Chicago Northwestern #1015 Steam Locomotive

The cosmetic restoration of this steam locomotive will enhance museum patron’s visits and showcase the locomotive's place in history as a part of the luxurious Overland Limited passenger train.

Chicago Northwestern #1015 Steam Locomotive at the Museum of Transportation, St. LouisHistory
The Chicago and Northwestern Railway #1015 was the first locomotive acquired by the Museum of Transportation. Purchased in 1946 by Museum founder and supporter Dr. John Russell Smith, it is a 4-4-2 Atlantic-type steam locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company in 1900.


It is the first locomotive in a new generation of steam locomotives that used steam extremely efficiently. This greater efficiency allowed the locomotives to develop significantly more horsepower, tractive effort and speed but did require taller drive wheels. The #1015 is equipped with 81” drive wheels and was used in high-speed passenger service, powering the Overland Limited along with other premier trains.

The Overland Flyer was a passenger train originally operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. The name harkens back to a stagecoach line operated by the Overland Mail Company between Salt Lake City, Utah and Virginia City, Nevada from 1861 to 1866 when Wells Fargo & Company took over the stagecoach's operation. Wells Fargo ended this stagecoach service three years later.

The train (which gave rise to the UP's nickname as "The Overland Route") was inaugurated in 1887.

Initially operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road), Union Pacific and Southern Pacific, operation between Chicago and Omaha was assumed by the Chicago and Northwestern in 1889, in an arrangement that lasted for sixty-six years.

The line (which took on the name Overland Limited in 1890) remained under the joint operation of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad until 1955 when passenger operations east of Omaha were again assumed by the Milwaukee Road.

The #1015, which is said to have once set an unofficial speed record of 125 mph, was replaced by heavier steel passenger trains and was eventually relegated to Chicago area commuter runs. It was retired in 1946 when it was purchased for the Museum of Transportation.

Restoration Budget

Estimated cost for this project is $35,000
Jacketing (fabrication & rolling)
$8,000
Cab - construct new, rivet, wood interior
$11,000
Wood - tender tank floor, pilot and rear beams
$3,000
Paint, electrical, body putty, sand paper, misc. supplies
$7,000
Interpretive signage
$1,000
Asbestos and Lead Abatement
$15,000
Total
$35,000

Donations received to date

In Memory of John T. (Jack) Nansen
$2,920
Denver Foundation, Robert W. Graf Family Fund
$2,500
The Guller Foundation
$500
Ron Chamberlain
$50
Total Donations
$5,970

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