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Cool Things - Locomotive

ATSF locomotive No. 132

This locomotive from the 1880s is the centerpiece of exhibits at the Kansas Museum of History.  It is the oldest surviving locomotive from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.

Atchison and Topeka businessmen, led by Cyrus K. Holliday, chartered the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) in 1859.

Four years later, the trackless railroad received a government land grant of two million acres on the condition that rails would be laid across Kansas by March 3, 1873. Construction began in November 1868, and the ATSF reached Colorado on December 28, 1872.

For Kansas, one of the more immediate results of the Santa Fe's completion was the settlement of the state. Anxious to have the land grant property occupied with people who would need the railroad, the ATSF encouraged the settlement of immigrants along the right-of-way. German-born C.B. Schmidt was hired to encourage European immigration to Kansas. Through his efforts the south central area of the state was settled by the Mennonites, a Protestant sect of Germans living in Russia, who excelled at growing winter wheat. The railroad also would become important for both agriculture and the cattle industry.

Locomotive No. 132 (pictured) was designed to deal with a problem west of Kansas. Santa Fe locomotives had difficulty climbing the steep grades of the Raton Pass on the Colorado-New Mexico border. In response, the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia built the largest and heaviest locomotive of its time, a 2-8-0 consolidation type tank engine. The success of it prompted Santa Fe to order ten more locomotives for service over Raton Pass. These would be ATSF locomotives numbers 130 through 139.

The museum's locomotive, No. 132, was delivered into service in October, 1880, and immediately was sent to Raton where it remained for 20 years. It was renumbered in 1898 (#912) and again in 1900 (#2414). More powerful locomotives replaced it at the turn of the 20th century and it was redesignated for local and yard switching service. By 1923 the locomotive was reassigned for switching service at the Argentine Yards, a major freight terminal in Kansas City, where it remained until 1939. It was designated for the scrap line after nearly 60 years of use.

Interest in preserving older steam engines saved this locomotive. Found to be Santa Fe's oldest surviving locomotive, it was refurbished twice in 1940-1941 for static display use. After the second refurbishing, it was once again No. 132. It was spared from the World War II scrap drives because it had become a corporate symbol. It was overhauled and returned to operation in 1950 as Locomotive #1 "Cyrus K. Holliday," named after the ATSF founder. With a tender and two 1880s coaches the Holliday performed under steam at local celebrations, fairs and other events. Occasionally it would be seen in films and it even appeared in an episode of the television series Gunsmoke.

The Holliday last ran under its own power in 1961 and public displays of the train grew more infrequent in the 1970s. Santa Fe committed to donating the locomotive to the Kansas Historical Society for placement in the Kansas Museum of History's main gallery, then in the planning stages. In February 1983 the train was hauled by flatbed to the museum site and moved in place while the building was still under construction. The Society restored the locomotive to its appearance on the day in 1880 when it first left the Baldwin shops. Today it is once again known as No. 132. The two coaches have been restored to a 1920s drovers car and a 1910s division superintendent's car.

Partial As-Built Specifications

  • Builder: Burnham, Parry, Williams, & Company, Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Order: 10, 10-36 E Nos. 1-10, AT&SF Nos. 130-139
  • Order entered: April 5, 1880
  • Outshopped: September 1880
  • Delivered and Into Service: October 1880
  • Gauge: 4 feet 8 1/2 inches, 3/4 inch play
  • Type: Standard gauge 2-8-0 Consolidation
  • Class: 10-36 E 3
  • Drawing No.: 1
  • Specification: AT&SF standard
  • Builder's number: 5266
  • Road: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company
  • Number: 132
  • Service: Freight
  • Fuel: Soft coal
  • Boiler pressure: 130 lbs.
  • Tractive power: 24,750 lbs.
  • Cost new: $12,175

Entry: Cool Things - Locomotive

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: November 1995

Date Modified: May 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.