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11
Santa Fe 2-8-0

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A.T. & S.F. 643
Oklahoma Railway Museum in Oklahoma City has a selection of railroad artifacts including this steam locomotive, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe No. 643. The museum tells us;
    No. 643, weighing 125,000 lbs, was built by Hinkley in 1879 for the ATSF (Santa Fe) Railway as a 4-4-0 No. 73 and named the H. C. Hardon. In 1897, the Santa Fe Railway converted No. 73 into a 2-8-0, renumbering it as No. 933. A general renumbering occurred in 1900, and the 933 was changed to No. 643, the road number it kept until retirement.

    In March of 1953, the engine was working in the Santa Fes Southern Division in freight service. The locomotive retired in April of 1953 and was donated to the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds for display. In 2015, the No. 643 was donated and moved to the Oklahoma Railway Museum.
No. 643 was displayed at the fair grounds under a roof for decades until it was kindly offered to the Oklahoma Railway Museum (O-R-M). (The site has an interesting account of transporting the locomotive.) While the roof provided it with some protection from the elements, it still required a good deal of restoration work. O-R-M did a great job. They even fashioned an authentic reflector for the front headlamp.

No. 643 is not a complete locomotive. When AT&SF donated the engine, they removed some parts of the valve gear and the steam chest. The tender is actually from No. 780, per the plaque on the tender frame, under the "4". It rides on Arch Bar trucks, too.

O-R-M is still working on the almost 130-year-old loco and has given her a fine future.
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About the Author

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...


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