Engine #2442 and others

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad Co. Engines 485 to 499
Wisconsin Central Railway Company Engines 2429 to 2443
Railroad classes F-12 and F-22, 2-8-0 wheel arrangement (consolidation)

One of a total of 15 Class F-22 locomotives ordered by the original Wisconsin Central in 1909, the 2442 was built in May of 1911 by the American Locomotive Company of Schnectady, New York, at a cost between $17,000 and $21,000, and developed up to 1,720 horsepower. It was the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie that assigned the number to the 2442, which reflected the lease of the Wisconsin Central by the M. St.P. & S.S.M. in 1909, whereas Wisconsin Central locomotives carried numbers 2000 higher than those of the "Soo" with a few exceptions.

F-22's were built as "heavy" freight engines for both the W.C. and the M. St.P & S.S.M. railroads. Prior to the construction of the F-12 and F-22 classes, the freight was mostly handled by the "maids of all work" 4-6-0 wheel arrangement or "Ten Wheeler" locomotives. However, after larger, more powerful locomotives were introduced, most notably the Class N-20 4-8-2 locomotives or "Mountain" types, F-12's and F-22's gravitated to branch line, local and switching service. It was at this time that the 2442 received a re-built tender from sister F-22 no. 2431, reworked from the original as-built tenders to a design that provided the engine crews with visibility to the rear. This work was carried out from the late 1920's into the 1930's, and resulted in the swapping of tenders from one locomotive to another, with no effort made to keep the rightful tender with the engine it was delivered with.

After it's final run out of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the 2442 was stored at the Wisconsin Central/Soo Line Shop at North Fond du Lac, Wis., in 1953. It was selected to fit the site elected for it by the City of Marshfield by the Soo Line in 1956. Soo Line track workers donated their time and labor to lay track into the present resting place of the 2442 and the locomotive was donated and placed in her current spot in November of 1956, where she resides to this day.

Interested members of the Hub City Central, Marshfield's Model Railroad Club, and the Marshfield Historical Preservation Association are working together to restore the 2442 cosmetically, that is, to stop short of fixing the engine up and making it steam under it's own power once again. The current environment of costs makes it impracticable to do this. But, together we can make the 2442 look as good, or better, as the day it was pushed into it's final resting place.

By the way, 2442 is the only remaining example of a W.C./M.St.P. & S.S.M Class F-12  or F-22 that was saved.

'Till Next Time,
Keith      

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