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The 4501 was among the last group of steam locomotives built for the Frisco line.
Because of World War II, the War Production Board limited production of most new diesel locomotives other than switching locomotives used in rail yards, and severely limited steam locomotive development by requiring the use of existing designs. Numbers 4500-4502 were built for passenger service on the "Meteor," an overnight train between St. Louis, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The new locomotives were delivered in a paint scheme of zephyr blue, white and gray, with "Meteor" spelled out on the side of the tender in bold, red letters.
While the passenger locomotives were built to be fired with cleaner burning oil, locomotives 4503-4524 were built as coal burners for freight service but were also used in passenger service.
4501 powered a portion of President Harry S. Truman's July, 1948 whistle stop campaign through Missouri.
The 4501 was built in 1942.
Also by Jason Stern
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