Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 763

Builder: Lima Locomotive Works – Lima, Ohio
Built: August 1944
Serial Number: #8671
Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-4 Berkshire
Driver Diameter: 69″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 25″ x 34″
Boiler Pressure: 245 psi
Pulling Power: 64,100 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 220 tons
Tender Weight: 180 tons
Fuel: Coal
Capacity: Coal – 22 tons; Water – 22,000 gallons
Class: S-2
Status: Non-Operational

One of the famed 2-8-4 Berkshire-type locomotives of the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (better known as the “Nickel Plate Road”), No. 763 was constructed in August 1944 by the Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio. The NKP was a bridge route between Chicago and Buffalo, and made its money by providing high-speed, reliable freight service between these two cities. To ensure the NKP’s heavy trains arrived on-time against tight schedules, the NKP employed 80 of the fast, powerful Berkshires. Designed to run comfortably at 70 mph across the entire railroad, the “Berks” were finely-tuned machines that performed exactly as intended. No. 763 enjoyed a reputation as one of the best running of the NKP 2-8-4’s.

NKP and its Berks laughed demonstration diesel locomotives from EMD off the property – twice – and continued pulling freight trains until June 1958 when the realities of dwindling parts supplies and escalating labor costs finally ushered in the more efficient diesels. Most of NKP Berks were kept until official retirement in August of 1960 when they began being towed to scrap yards. Six were preserved, with No. 763 eventually being put on display in Roanoke, Virginia by NKP’s new corporate parent, the Norfolk and Western Railway.

Ten years later, No. 763 was moved to New Jersey for inspection and possible overhaul as power for the American Freedom Train, which at that time was proposed to be pulled by double-headed NKP Berks No. 763 and No. 755. However, that plan did not work out, so the engine headed back to Roanoke. The park exhibits were later transferred across town to the covered display tracks of the new Virginia Museum of Transportation, which displayed the 2-8-4 alongside N&W’s own steam locomotives.

Jerry Jacobson purchased No. 763 in 2007, and the locomotive made the trip from Roanoke home to Ohio on its own wheels in a special Norfolk Southern train. Today, this beautiful Berkshire sits in the Age of Steam Roundhouse and highlights one of the most famous classes of American steam power.

A sister locomotive, No. 765, is operated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in Indiana.

US Army 2-8-0 No. 2630

Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.
Built: November 1943
Serial Number: #69857
Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-0 Consolidation (“Yanks” in England)
Driver Diameter: 57″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 19″ x 26″
Boiler Pressure: 225 psi
Pulling Power: 31,000 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 72 tons
Tender Weight 58 tons
Length: 61′
Fuel: Coal
Capacity: Coal – 9 tons; Water – 6,500 gallons
Class: S160
Status: Non-Operational

Upon America’s entry into World War II, the United States Army Transportation Corps (USATC) commissioned development of a locomotive which could be built quickly and inexpensively in large numbers to be deployed on railways around the world. The result was the S-160 class, a 2-8-0 Consolidation locomotive limited in size and weight to ensure compatibility with Europe’s lighter construction of rail lines.

A total of 2,120 S-160’s were built by the combined efforts of the three major American locomotive builders, and the engines saw service in North Africa, Asia, Great Britain, South America and almost all of Europe. In November of 1943, No. 2630 rolled out of Baldwin’s assembly shop in Philadelphia. Unlike most of its sister engines which were sent off to war, No. 2630 remained stateside for use in railroad operation and maintenance training at the U.S. Army Transportation School at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.

Renumbered No. 612 in 1954, the engine remained on active duty for the Ft. Eustis Military Railroad for years; the Army kept operating steam locomotives to ensure no knowledge would be lost in the event that military operations began in a country still running them. Occasional weekend tourist trips around Ft. Eustis became popular stops for American railfans. The engine was finally retired in 1972 and donated to the state of West Virginia for potential use on the Durbin Branch, a state-owned line connecting to the famous Cass Scenic Railroad. Flood damage to the line ended these plans, and No. 612 was stored outdoors for many years.

In 2010, No. 612 was sold to Robert Franzen, president of Steam Services of America, and was disassembled and trucked to the Southeastern Railroad Museum in Duluth, Georgia, for storage. Age of Steam Roundhouse acquired #612 from Mr. Franzen in 2015 and shipped it via several highway trucks to Sugarcreek. In 2019 the engine received a complete cosmetic restoration, back-dating it to as-built appearance and numbering it back to No. 2630 in anticipation of AoSR’s Steam to Victory event.

Canadian National 2-6-0 No. 96

Builder: Canadian Locomotive Company, Ltd. – Kingston, Ontario
Built: 1910
Serial Number: #937
Wheel Arrangement: 2-6-0 Mogul
Driver Diameter: 63″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 21″ x 26″
Boiler Pressure: 170 psi
Pulling Power: 26,300 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 70.9 tons
Tender Weight: 64 tons
Length: 62′
Fuel: Coal
Capacity: Coal – 10 tons; Water – 5,200 gallons
Status: Non-Operational

Built by the Canadian Locomotive Company in 1910, 2-6-0 No. 1024 was one of a series of the small engines purchased by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. These lightweight locomotives could be found at work all across Canada, but were used mostly on branch lines on the prairies with gentle grades and short trains. The engine went through a series of identity changes during its career, first being renumbered No. 926 by the GTR. In 1923, the GTR merged with the Canadian National Railway, becoming CN No. 96.

After retirement, No. 96 was purchased F. Nelson Blount for his growing Steamtown tourist operation in Vermont. Number 96 was not operated, but instead used as a source of spare parts to keep Blount’s other engines under steam. When Steamtown prepared to move to its new home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, No. 96 was deemed surplus to the collection and sold to Horst Muller of Canada. The locomotive languished in Brantford, Ontario for many years.

In 1994 No. 96 was purchased by Jerry Jacobson who moved it to his Ohio Central Railroad System. While unlikely to be returned to operation, this venerable 2-6-0 is an important piece of the Age of Steam collection.

Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 No. 33

Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.
Built: February 1916
Serial Number: #43108
Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-0 Consolidation
Driver Diameter: 50″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 26″ x 30″
Boiler Pressure: 200 psi
Pulling Power: 60,484 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 140 tons
Fuel: Coal
Class: SC-1
Status: Undergoing firebox work

Built in 1916 as Munising, Marquette & Southeastern Railway No. 44, this massive 2-8-0 was specially designed for service on heavy iron ore trains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These ore trains were operated from the Marquette Iron Range to docks on Lake Superior for shipment by lake boats to lower Great Lakes steel mills. Three identical locomotives were sold to the neighboring Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad, into which the MM&S was eventually merged in 1924. As part of the merger, the engine was relettered and renumbered as LS&I No. 33.

Developing a whopping 72,309 pounds of tractive effort with its rare tender steam booster engine cut-in, this engine and tender had more low-speed pulling power than many larger locomotives. In fact, No. 33 and its sister engines were designed to exacting dimensions to fit within the railroads tight clearances and existing turntables. In other words, Baldwin squeezed in as much locomotive as possible!

After being retired in 1962, No. 33 was purchased in 1968 by Jerry Ballard for use on Ohio’s Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Rebuilt to operating condition by a flock of volunteers (who removed the tender booster and its complicated piping), No. 33 ran on the tourist railroad for many years before finally being parked in need of heavy repairs. In 2003 No. 33 was traded to Jerry Joe Jacobson and moved to the Ohio Central Railroad shop for repairs. The locomotive made its inaugural run on the OC in 2005, and operated occasionally until the railroad was sold in 2008. During the time when the Age of Steam Roundhouse facilities were being constructed, there was no opportunity to repair or operate any of Jerry’s steamers. Repairs to No. 33’s firebox resumed, and this 2-8-0 was returned to steam on November 11, 2018.

US Navy 0-6-0T No. 4

Builder: H. K. Porter – Pittsburgh, Penn.
Built: March 1919
Serial Number: #6369
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0ST (Side Tank) Switcher
Driver Diameter: 46″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 18″ x 24″
Boiler Pressure: 180 psi
Pulling Power: 25,865 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 64 tons
Weight on Drivers: 29 feet
Fuel: Bunker-C Oil
Capacity: Oil – 500 gallons; Water – 1,800 gallons
Status: Non-operational

After the Revolutionary War, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was established on the bank of the East River in New York City. At the yard’s peak during World War II, 75,000 workers helped to repair numerous Atlantic Fleet ships while building such famous battleships as the USS North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri.

Supporting the yard’s operations required immense shipments of raw materials and equipment, mostly by rail. A fleet of switch engines, including 0-6-0T No. 4, was employed move incoming and outgoing cars. A March 1919 product of Pittsburgh’s H.K. Porter Company, No. 4 spent three years with the Navy before being sold to the neighboring Brooklyn East District Terminal Railroad. For the following three decades, the BEDT’s diminutive steamers chuffed around the Brooklyn docks. In fact, the BEDT was 100% steam until Christmas Day, 1963 when the line finally retired its fleet of steam locomotives. Fortunately, all of the BEDT steamers in service at that time were saved and preserved elsewhere.

Following its retirement, No. 13 was sold to George Hart and moved to Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1977, the engine was transferred to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where it was displayed until being deemed surplus to the core collection in 2010. In October of 2011, the Age of Steam Roundhouse took ownership of No. 13 and two former Department of Defense flatcars which were also part of RMoPA’s collection. All three items were shipped to Sugarcreek on highway trucks, arriving on December 12, 2011.

This 0-6-0T locomotive has been repainted and relettered back to its original 1919 appearance as U.S. Navy No. 4 and this Navy veteran now sits proudly in the Roundhouse.

Buffalo Creek & Gauley 2-8-0 No. 13

Builder: American Locomotive Co. – Brooks Works; Dunkirk, N.Y.
Built: January 1920
Serial Number: #61579
Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-0 Consolidation
Driver Diameter: 56 inches
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 23″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure: 185 psi
Pulling Power: 43,500 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 99 tons
Weight on Drivers: 85.5 tons
Length: 71′ 10″
Fuel: Coal
Class: G-7s
Status: Non-Operational


Engine No. 13 began life in 1920 at the Brooks Works of the American Locomotive Company as 2-8-0 No. 6 built for Kelly’s Creek & Northwestern Railroad, a remote lumber hauling line deep in the mountains of West Virginia (see header image). After an unremarkable KC&NW career, No. 6 was sold for scrap to Midwest Steel Corporation. Luckily, the nearby Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad needed additional power and still operated steam, so in 1954 it was purchased and renumbered No. 13. Thanks to this twist of fate, No. 13 embarked on a second career as most steam locomotives were being cut up for scrap. Number 13 and its fellow BC&G steamers pulled a million tons of coal for their owners on the 18.6 miles of track between Dundon and Widen, and each year legions of railfans ventured to West Virginia to see steam’s last gasp.

Finally retired by the BC&G in 1964, No. 13 went through multiple owners, operating infrequently on a few different tourist railroads. In 1993 it was purchased by Jerry Jacobson as back up for engine No. 1551 on Ohio Central Railroad steam trains.

Last steamed in the late 1990’s, No. 13 requires significant running gear work and a complete boiler inspection before operating again. In the meantime, the engine is a popular stop on Age of Steam Roundhouse tours.