Alabama, Tennessee & Northern 2-10-0 No. 401
|Builder:||Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.|
|Wheel Arrangement:||2-10-0 Decapod|
|Cylinder Bore x Stroke:||24″ x 28″|
|Boiler Pressure:||190 psi|
|Pulling Power:||46,512 lbs. tractive effort|
|Engine Weight:||106 tons|
|Tender Weight:||71 tons|
|Capacity:||Coal – 12 tons; Water – 7,000 gallons|
The Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railroad was a 220-mile long short line railroad in the state of Alabama. Through various mergers and expansions the railroad eventually reached the port of Mobile in 1928, but AT&N rails never got anywhere close to reaching Tennessee. During this same year the railroad ordered three light 2-10-0 or Decapod-type steam locomotives from Baldwin. Decapods were larger and more powerful than 2-8-0s and smaller 2-8-2s, but spread that increased locomotive weight over five driving axles instead of four. This reduced their axle loading to 19 tons, and allowed AT&N’s 2-10-0s to operate on the lighter rails used by most short lines. Numbered 401 through 403, the engines lugged freight trains for the AT&N under the railroad’s “Lindbergh” (in reference to the previous year’s feat of aviation) fast freight branding, and wore special plates on their headlights proclaiming the service.
Because of World War II’s enormous increase in the volume of rail traffic through the Port of Mobile, the War Production Board authorized the AT&N to purchase diesel locomotives. The AT&N retired all of its steam locomotives by 1946, being one of the first railroads of its size to do so. During that year, #401 was sold to the Georgia Car & Locomotive Company, a dealer in used railroad equipment. On May 13, 1948, the engine was sold to the Woodward Iron Company and renumbered as its No.41. Woodward’s facilities covered 80,000 acres that were served by a 50-mile in-plant railroad. Number 41 was put to work pulling trains of coal and limestone from outlying company mines and quarries to WIC’s pig iron mills in Woodward, just outside Birmingham, Alabama. Woodward produced merchant pig iron, a material used for casting pipe, iron stoves, farm implements and machinery parts.
Number 41 was in operation at Woodward Iron Company until 1959 when the locomotive was retired from active duty. In 1964 Mid-Continent Railway Museum purchased it and shipped it t their museum in Wisconsin. Plans to rebuild and restore No.41 never materialized, and the 2-10-0 sat outdoors slowly rusting. After determining that the engine was no longer needed, Mid-Continent put it up for auction in May 2015. Due to the railroad bridge connecting North Freedom to the outside rail network being out of service, moving No.41 out of North Freedom was an expensive and challenging exercise. As a result there were just two bidders. Jerry Jacobson won the auction, and had No.41 moved to his Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.
As expected, No.41 had to be extracted from the property by highway truck. On December 2, 2015, it was hoisted by two mammoth cranes onto a special, articulated, 66-wheel highway trailer for a short (but expensive) move over local highways to a railroad siding some four miles distant. There, the same cranes lifted the 2-10-0 from the trailer and onto a railroad flatcar for shipment via rail to Ohio. Number 41 arrived on December 29, 2015 as our very large Christmas gift, and was safely unloaded. During 2018, this 2-10-0 was repainted, relettered and renumbered back to its original appearance as Alabama, Tennessee & Northern No.401.