Monday, August 10, 2015

Visit to MOT

 Frank and I visited the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood (near St. Louis) in 1995, and the photos from that trip recently came to light.  It's hard to believe that was twenty years ago.  (Note: these pictures are being published for historical interest.  MOT no longer looks like this, as several dramatic improvements have been made to the property and some of the equipment shown here has since been nicely restored.)   Enjoy!

The 952 has been restored.

The "Train of Tomorrow" has been sooo yesterday for a long time.


These ancient locomotives from the Purdue collection are some real jewels of steam history.

The Purdue test car.

(L) The only surviving P5a, and the Black Diamond inspection engine, which has been completely restored.

 The shop crew were working on the Lake St. engine.

 (R) Frisco 1621, another Russian decapod; behind it, the NYC Mohawk; behind that, the Gen. Pershing Zephyr.

 Of course, MOT has a lot of other interesting items that evidently didn't get snapped on this trip.  Some of them were still stored in the tunnel at that time.


Joshua Sutherland said...

I have always wondered, why does the IRM not have the Lake Street Loco?

Anonymous said...

The MOT has the largest collection of steam locomotives in the country with 29 of them. IRM has the second largest with ?26?

When some more car barn space is available in the new buildings; maybe another locomotive will come IRM's way! And then that record will be theirs; along with several others.

And yes the Lake Street Elevated locomotive could well go home to Chicago. They might trade something for it. At least in recent years some storage buildings have been built at MOT.

Ted Miles
IRM Member

David Wilkins said...

As someone who spent nine years of my life volunteering at MOT in St. Louis, as well as being an Associate Member of IRM, I kind of get tired of people wanting to raid MOT's collection.

Why does MOT have the Lake Street locomotive? Simple. MOT existed in the early 1950s and had the foresight to save it from Mexico, back when IRM was still IERM and in North Chicago. Had MOT not existed, there's a good chance the Purdue collection would have been scrapped, and other locomotives, like the C&NW 4-4-2 would not have been saved after retirement. MOT is not a regional museum, and each and every one of those 29 steam locomotives tells a different piece of the story of steam locomotive development in the U.S., from the Daniel Nason 4-4-0 of 1856 to the UP Big Boy, and everything in between.

Actually, a good chunk, over half of the collection, and probably closer to 60-70% is under cover at MOT. What is out in the open is kept nice looking, on a regular paint/refresh schedule.

The Lake Street engine is under cover, and displayed right behind the Reading inspection locomotive, which is also nicely displayed.