Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Slice of World War II in New Mexico

Brought to you by:
Santa Fe Steam Locomotive # 2926
Through the Auspicious of
The New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society

Since our Interstate highway system that allows for long distance trucking did not exists in 1940 and air cargo was in it’s infancy, railroads were the only way that troops, equipment, food stuffs and raw material could move rapidly and efficiently around our nation.

Over the years of the war, railroads moved 783 Billion Freight miles and 93 Billion Passenger miles. That movement included 43 million members of the military on 114,000 troop trains.

We have available video presentations of the US Office of War Information movies “Troop Train” and “Loaded for War” and documentation of #2926’s steam locomotive restoration.

In addition to #2926 we have on exhibit a Centennial Grant exhibit on the role of railroads in the growth and development of New Mexico

Santa Fe #2926 exists because of the US War Production Board would not grant the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway’s request for additional new Diesel Locomotives. Therefore Santa Fe #2926 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Eddystone PA and delivered to the Santa Fe in May 1944.

Santa Fe #2926 was immediately put in fast freight service between Kansas City MO and Clovis NM, a one way distance of 637 miles. It is estimated that she covered 18,435 miles each month. Her 22 months of war service covered 405,570 miles.

Her post war service in crack passenger and fast freight service allowed her to accumulate an estimated 1,600,000 miles of operations prior to her being donated to the city of Albuquerque for exhibit in Coronado Park.

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