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THE 1947 - 1949 FREEDOM TRAIN

THE EPILOGUE Part 1 - Disposition of the Train's Equipment

Surprisingly, all the railroad equipment employed by the Freedom Train was simply reconfigured to its original form and returned to the railroads who had loaned it.

The colorful red, white and blue paint, brass eagles, and emblem placards with "hands holding high the torch" were all removed. When the Freedom Train's journey was over, the cars were returned to ordinary, everyday use in the passenger and express trains of the Santa Fe and the Pennsylvania Railroad, or to Pullman Company sleeper service reassignments .

ALCO put the well-traveled PA through a complete mechanical remanufacture at the place of its birth in Schenectady, then sold it with a new-locomotive guarantee to the Gulf. Mobile and Ohio Railroad. It became GM&O locomotive number 292.

As it departed ALCO's plant for the second time, it carried a brass plaque ahead of the cab door on each side to remember its unique place in history. With those commemorative plaques in place, the once-revered locomotive served the railroad on the Rebel passenger train in GM&O standard maroon and orange livery until its retirement in the 1960's as just another old diesel.

There are no indications that any young girl ever again planted a kiss on the engine's flanks. Unfortunately, no one came forward to save the engine from the scrapper's torch. Only one of the Freedom Train's original cars exists today -- at the Galveston Island Railroad Museum. See News and Events for details.

Text by Mr. Larry Wines.

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