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1944: Steam's last great year

In our Fall 2019 issue, we devoted 36 pages to the 350-plus steam locomotives built for service in the U.S. and Canada in 1944. Some of the greatest stars of the steam era — including Santa Fe's 5011-class 2-10-4s, B&O's EM-1 2-8-8-4s, Nickel Plate's Berkshires, and Union Pacific's Big Boys — were built in that wartime year. Steam construction fell off sharply the following year, and never again approached the levels of 1944.

ATSF2928
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Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 2928. Near Romero, N.Mex., with second section of westbound California Limited, October 1947. Preston George photo

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STEAM LOCOMOTIVES

Learn about the many types of locomotives — from tiny 0-4-0s to the giant Big Boy — that powered the railroads for more than a century. Read more now. »

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