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Locomotives & Equipment
of the 1975 - 1976
AMERICAN FREEDOM TRAIN
 
  American Freedom Train #1 AFT Locomotive #1: Former Reading #2101 was pulled from retirement for an emergency overhaul to pull the American Freedom Train and now has a permanent home at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD. The locomotive went through three different paint schemes during the run of the AFT.  
  American Freedom Train #4449 AFT Locomotive #4449: Doubtless the most photographed locomotive in the world, the former Southern Pacific GS-4 is the property of the City of Portland Oregon. It was restored specifically to pull the American Freedom Train. Now back in Daylight orange, red and black, the locomotive is today under the care of the Friends of SP 4449.  
  American Freedom Train #610 AFT Locomotive #610: The former Texas & Pacific 2-10-4 "Texas type" was restored in Ft. Worth to pull the AFT in Texas. It ran in excursion service for the Southern Railway for five years following duty on the AFT. It is now housed at the Texas State Railroad State Park in Palastine, TX.  
 

Burlington Northern Bicentennial Locomotives #1776, 1876, 5745, 5747 and 6907 -- giving credit where it is due: Although many railroads supplied diesel "helpers" to provide back-up power to the AFT's steam locomotives, these locomotives stood out. They are the only diesels to pull the AFT from one city to another because no steam locomotive was available -- #4449 was sidetracked in Omaha for repairs.

 
  American Freedom Train 200 Splendid Spirit AFT #200 Splendid Spirit - The original American Freedom Train car! In 1973, to promote the idea of an "American Freedom Train", this car was painted white with a blue roof and a wide red stripe across the window area -- and was the first car ever lettered "American Freedom Train". In 1975 it did, in fact, see service as part of the AFT.  
  American Freedom Train #448 AFT #448: The original AFT diner, sort of. This New York Central Budd dining car (1947, lot 2198, sold to the High Iron Co. in 1969), also seen here on George Elwood's site, was the second car to wear the AFT name. As of 2011, it is newly restored and for sale through Ozark Mountain Railcar.  
 
AFT #7700: This 24-8 Budd slumbercoach was owned by the High Iron Co. Its name was Slumberland (former B&O 7700, future Amtrak 2096). It provided sleeping quarters for the restoration crew of 2101 at the Hagerstown roundhouse. As with cars #448 and #200 'Splendid Spirit', this car (lettered AFT) accompanied the T-1 on its test runs in March '75. Please email if you have more information.  
  AFT Aux Tender #1A: The T-1 locomotive picked up an auxiliary water tender/tool car in the early days of the AFT. The unused coal bunker was given a roof and converted to a tool shop for servicing the locomotive. It is now located in Elkhart, Indiana at the National New York Central Railroad Museum.  
  American Freedom Train PNWC76 AFT Tool Car # PNWC76, "The Seventy-Six": The Daylight locomotive came from Oregon with a former SP&S 6-axle 80' heavyweight baggage/dorm car for use as a tool car -- which was used to help service all three steam locomotives of the AFT. The "PNWC" in its number is short for "Pacific Northwest Chapter" NRHS.  
  AFT Car #20/33: The American Freedom Train began its journey without this car, but it was soon added. It was intended to be a tool car for the T-1 locomotive crew, but concessions took over and it served to provide storage and laundry facilities for the concessions people who toured with the train. Originally, this was to be car #99. Originally NYC baggage #9133. At the Pentagon stop, the car was renumbered 33 -- and AFT car 33 was renumbered 34 -- and both stayed that way to the end of the journey. Later, this car served on the Chessie Steam Special as Car #33.  
  American Freedom Train Flat Cars AFT Flatcars #30, 31, 32: Three F85C TTX (Trailer Train) flatcars were leased to haul the concessions and ticket wagons needed at each stop. The flatcars were eventually repainted and returned to the lessor. It is quite likely they are still on the rails today. Please email if you know the original car numbers.  
 

The Story of the 10 Wagons

  American Freedom Train Office Wagon AFT #10: Operations Office Wagon. Provided air conditioned office space for the Operations Supervisor. Large AFT emblems on both ends. Three small windows along the top edge of one side. Two small windows along the top edge and a door on the other side. Otherwise, plain white sides except for the blue number "10". Two telescoping light towers mounted. 15'Lx9'Wx12'H  
 
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AFT #11: Ramp Wagon for storage of the entrance and exit ramps, the flag plaza and other bulky items. May also have been used to store the long lengths of hoses needed to supply water from fire hydrants to the last five cars on the train. Usually positioned right behind the Chevy Blazer to be the first wagon unloaded from the flats. Plain white sides. Large AFT emblem on each end. No doors or windows on either long side. Two container-style doors on the rear. Front end was one big door that swung down to form a ramp. After one of the electricians devised some marquee lights to adorn the canopy over the AFT entrance door, a long thin column-like traveling container was fashioned for the lights and attached to the top of this wagon, running just about the entire length of the wagon. Two telescoping light towers mounted. 19'Lx9'Wx12'H  
 
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AFT #12: Comptroller's Office Wagon. A ticket wagon on opening day, this air conditioned wagon was eventually converted to provide space for an accounting office on one end and work/storage area for the electricians on the other. The electrical department used the space to store the very long electrical cords that supplied power from the train to all the concessions, office and ticket wagons. Large AFT emblems on both ends. Four windows on one side, three windows and a door on the other. Two telescoping light towers mounted. 17'Lx9'Wx12'H  
  American Freedom Train Ticket Wagon AFT #14: Ticket Wagon. Started out with "TICKETS" in big red letters on its side. Over half way through the trip an "AFT TICKETS" sign was added to the top of the wagon on both long sides and the red lettering was removed from the side. The new large signs on top folded down onto the roof for transport. Large AFT emblems on both ends along with more "TICKETS" lettering in red. Held the main electrical distribution box for all the wagons. Two telescoping light towers mounted. 17'Lx9'Wx12'H  
  AFT #15: Concession Wagon (souvenirs). "OFFICIAL SOUVENIRS" sign on top of both long sides (no "AFT" underneath). Large AFT emblem on both ends of the wagon, at least before repainting. Sides were plain white, except for the blue number "15". 18'Lx9'Wx12'H  
  AFT #16: Concession Wagon (souvenirs). "OFFICIAL SOUVENIRS, THE AMERICAN FREEDOM TRAIN" on top of both long sides. Large AFT emblem on each end before repainting. Small emblem with "FREEDOM TRAIN" lettering underneath it on at least one end after repainting. Sides were plain white, except for the blue number "16". 18'Lx9'Wx12'H  
 
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AFT #17: Concession Wagon (souvenirs). "OFFICIAL SOUVENIRS, THE AMERICAN FREEDOM TRAIN" on top of both long sides. Large AFT emblem on each end, at least before repainting. Sides were plain white, except for the blue number "17". 18'Lx9'Wx12'H  
  AFT #18: Concession Wagon (food). "HOT DOGS" and "COFFEE" along the top of its sides. "DRINKS" on one end, access door on the other. 18'Lx9'Wx12'H  
  American Freedom Train Consession Wagon

AFT #19: Concession Wagon (food). "SNO CONES" and "DRINKS" along the top of one side; "COTTON CANDY" on the other. "POPCORN" on one end, access door on the other. 18'Lx9'Wx12'H

 

 
  American Freedom Train Storage Wagon AFT #20: Storage wagon for welding and repair supplies. Plain white sides except for the blue number "20". Large AFT emblem on each end and "No Smoking" in red on all four sides. Same basic form as souvenir wagons, but with double container-style doors on the back end.  
  American Freedom Train Chevy Blazer

AFT Chevy Blazer: Used by the setup crew to unload the wagons from the flatcars at every stop -- plus a hundred other uses. Chevrolet K5 custom Blazer, built 1975.

 
  American Freedom Train Forklift

AFT Forklift: That's right, an AFT forklift. Apparently a very beloved piece of equipment. Useful for lifting things, getting things out of the mud, pulling wagons in a pinch, a train washing platform, high level photography, a way to get up on top of the train to paint... You name it, the forklift could be used for it. And probably was. Clark IT-40, Type G, built 1972.

 
  American Freedom Train Panel Van

AFT Audio/Visual Step Van: Not initially part of the train, but added when the need for it became obvious. Sometimes driven from site to site, but it usually rode the flats. Chevrolet, built 1975.

 
  American Freedom Train GMC Truck

AFT Engine Crew Truck: A contribution of the High Iron Company in mid-1976, the utility truck was used by the T-1 locomotive crew. GMC Custom Utility, 4WD, 3/4 ton pickup with Reading Job Planned body, built 1968.

 
  AFT Concessions Truck Used by the concessions vendor and driven from city to city.  
  US Army GMC Van: Provided office space and break room facilities for the US Army Honor Guard that toured with the train. Soldiers manned eight to ten of the AFT display cars, relaying any information about security threats to the artifacts.  
  AFT Concessions & Merchandise Storage Car #33/34, "The Boxcar": Like car #20, this car was not part of the American Freedom Train when it began its journey, though it was soon added. It was originally Southern Railway baggage car (per the AFT Foundation flyer used in 1977 when disposing of its assets). It's original number was 545. At the Pentagon stop, the car was renumbered 34 -- and stayed that way to the end of the journey.  
   

The story of the baggage cars used for most of the train

 
  AFT Showcase Car #40: This car had large showcase windows on either side through which the car's three large exhibits could be seen day or night. The first was a model of the B&O "Arabian" steam locomotive, then came the Friendship Fire Engine from George Washington's fire company, and finally the 1904 Oldsmobile Runabout "The Old Scout" that won the first transcontinental auto race. Originally NYC baggage car #9137 or 9152. Scrapped in 1995.  
  AFT Showcase Car #41: Also with large showcase windows through which could be seen a Lunar Rover test unit (on loan from the Smithsonian) , a map of the American Freedom Train's journey, and the Freedom Bell -- a twice-size replica of the Liberty Bell. Originally NYC baggage car #9137 or 9152. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 100 AFT Entrance Car #100, "The Control Car": The entrance to the train, it also served as the security control car. The car was meant to act as a buffer, allowing visitors time to adjust their eyes to the dark before stepping into car #101 and onto its moving walkway. Despite not having the status of the ‘real’ display cars, car #100 did have a few displays inside. Originally NYC baggage #9163. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 101

AFT Display Car #101: "The Beginning": -- contained artifacts related to our earliest days and quest for independence as a free nation. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1776-1786 and 1786-1796. Originally NYC baggage #9128. Scrapped in 1995.

 
  American Freedom Train 102 AFT Display Car #102: "Exploration and Expansion" -- contained artifacts related to our endeavors to explore the land and delve into the sciences. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1796-1806 and 1806-1816. Originally NYC baggage #9158. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 103 AFT Display Car #103: "Growth of the Nation" -- contained artifacts and displays related to our quest for knowledge and our desire to travel about our expansive country. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1816-1826 and 1826-1836. Originally NYC baggage #9178. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 104 AFT Display Car #104: "Origins" -- held artifacts from several of the many ethnic backgrounds making up our great nation -- European Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1836-1846 and 1846-1856. Originally NYC baggage #9115. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 105 AFT Display Car #105: "Innovations" -- held dozens of examples of our ingenuity. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1856-1866 and 1866-1876. Originally NYC baggage #9135. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 106 AFT Display Car #106: "Human Resources" -- contained examples of our greatest individual achievements. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1876-1886 and 1886-1896. Originally NYC baggage #9156. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 107 AFT Display Car #107: "Sports" -- carried sports memorabilia of all types. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1896-1906 and 1906-1916. Originally NYC baggage #9138. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 108 AFT Display Car #108: "Performing Arts" -- contained dozens of artifacts from American film, television, radio and theater. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1916-1926 and 1926-1936. Originally NYC baggage #9139. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 109 AFT Display Car #109: "Fine Arts" -- held dozens of pieces of original American fine art. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1936-1946 and 1946-1956. Originally NYC baggage #9165. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 110 AFT Display Car #110: "Conflict and Resolution" -- carried artifacts related to our greatest trials and tribulations. The exterior panels and shadowboxes depict the decades 1956-1966 and 1966-1976. Originally NYC baggage #9104. Scrapped in 1995.  
  American Freedom Train 111 AFT Power Car #111, "The Exit Car" served as the car through which the public would exit the train. It was the last car with any displays inside. It also held a large electric generator. A former NYC 9100 series car manufactured by ACF. Please email if you know the original car number.  
 

American Freedom Train 200

AFT Power Car #200, "The Bunk Car": Despite the noisy generators running 24 hours a day, #200 also had sleeping accommodations for 12(!) and served as home to some of the crew and was commonly referred to as the "Bunk Car". A former NYC 9100 series car manufactured by ACF. Please email if you know the original car number.  
  American Freedom Train 201 AFT Sleeping Car #201: A former Southern Pacific Golden State 4-4-2 (4 double bedrooms, 4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms) Pullman sleeper #9111, this car provided quarters for the small number of staff members who actually lived aboard the AFT.  
  American Freedom Train 202 AFT Combo Car #202, "The Pie Car": Originally Reading car #592, the Pie Car was likely built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding (Wilmington, DE) in 1927. During its time on the AFT it was simply know as the "Pie Car", a bit of lingo adopted from the world of the circus trains. The Story of "the Preambles"  
  American Freedom Train 203 AFT Lounge Car #203, "The Bar Car": Originally Reading commuter car #1327, the Bar Car was likely built by Standard Steel Car in 1922. While on the AFT it was known as the "Bar Car" and contained swiveling chairs, a piano, and, as you may have guessed, a very prominent bar. The car is externally distinguishable from its near-clone (AFT #204) by its larger roof vents.  
  American Freedom Train 204 AFT Hospitality Car #204, "The Office Car": Originally Reading #1332, the Office Car was yet another car that came to the AFT from The Springmaid Line (where it carried the name "Stimulator"). Commonly called the "Parlor Car", the "Ethan Allen Car" (for its furnishings), or the "Office Car" once some of the Foundation's executives began to use it as such.  
  American Freedom Train 205 AFT Observation Car #205, "The Press Car": Originally Reading commuter coach #1329, the Press Car was likely built by Standard Steel Car in 1922.. While on the AFT it was most often referred to as the "Press Car" and had all the facilities journalists would need to report their stories on the AFT -- desks, typewriters, and even telephones wherever a phone line could be brought to the train.  
  American Freedom Train Freedom Bell The Lunar Rover: Car #41 carried a mock-up 'vibration test unit' of the Lunar Roving Vehicle, built for the NASA Apollo program by Boeing. Although it didn't get to make the 238,900 mile trip to the moon, it put in a respctable 25,833 aboard the AFT. Today it resides at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.  
  American Freedom Train Freedom Bell The Freedom Bell: Also known as the Children's Bell, this twice-size replica of the Liberty Bell (sans crack) was made by the same European foundry that made the original. It was made expressly to be carried aboard the AFT and was a gift from the American Legion to the children of America. It sits today outside Washington DC Union Station without any indication it was carried to 48 states aboard the American Freedom Train.  
 

 

MISC
 
  American Freedom Train 202 American Freedom Train Triple Unit Dining Car #10280, 10281, 10282: Originally a Southern Pacific Cascade (Oakland-Portland) car that was configured as a Tavern-Dining Room-Kitchen/Dorm. The diner was worked on alongside the AFT display cars in Richmond, CA in 1974/75. Ultimately, the diner was only partially outfitted and painted for use on the American Freedom Train.  
  American Freedom Train 202 American Freedom Train Spare Baggage Car: The AFT Foundation purchased 18 surplus NYC/PC baggage cars for conversion to the AFT. Of those, 10 were made into display cars, two into showcase cars, one entrance car, two power cars and one concessions storage car. That accounts for 16. One was reportedly dumped over on its side to harvest its trucks in Richmond where the car conversions were taking place. That one was supposedly scrapped on site. Which leaves this lonely car-- a spare American Freedom Train baggage car that has been shuffled around northern California for decades. Today it sits in storage at Willits, CA. No car number is visible. If you have any more information, please email.  
     
   

Please email us if you have any information that
would add to the histories shown here.

 
     
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