The original 7002 was an E2-class locomotive built in 1902 by the Pennsylvania Railroad's Altoona Works in Altoona, Pennsylvania. On June 11, 1905, the Pennsylvania Railroad inaugurated its new 18-hour train service from New York City to Chicago, the Pennsylvania Special—forerunner to the famed Broadway Limited. 7002 was coupled to the train as the replacement locomotive in Crestline, Ohio. Delays east of Mansfield caused it to depart Crestline 25 minutes late. 7002 was claimed to have achieved 127.1 miles per hour (204.5 km/h) near Elida but this speed was based solely on two passing times recorded by separate observers at two different points (AY Tower and Elida) just 3 miles apart, and it is difficult to obtain even a general indication of a train`s speed from signal box registers. (Speed on the East Coast Main Line p 69, by P Semmens). The train arrived on time in Fort Wayne, Indiana.[a] It was scrapped in 1935.
8063 was an E2a-class also built in 1902 by the Altoona Works. It was upgraded to the E7s-class in 1916. 8063 was renumbered, altered to resemble 7002 and placed on exhibit as the "world's fastest steam engine" at the 1939 New York World's Fair and the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1948–49. 7002 was transferred to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania from the Pennsylvania Railroad's historical collection in Northumberland, Pennsylvania in December 1979 by the Pennsylvania's successor Penn Central. 7002 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1979. In the 1982, 7002 was leased to and operated by the Strasburg Rail Road, mostly as a stand in for their #89 which was undergoing a major rebuild for most of the 1980s. 7002 was mostly used on the half-hourly trains on the Strasburg but also two doubleheaded trips with PRR 1223 in the summer of 1985 to Harrisburg as well as a trip to Philadelphia on May 8, 1986. 7002 also ran between Hanover Junction and Gettysburg on November 19, 1988 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's trip over the same route to make the Gettysburg Address. Both 1223 and 7002 were removed from service when the Strasburg Rail Road acquired an ultrasonic testing device in December 1989 and discovered that the metal sides of the locomotives' fireboxes were too thin to allow for safe operation. The locomotives were moved across the street, to the museum. Today, 7002 sits pilot to pilot with 1223 at the entrance to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's Rolling Stock Hall.
a. ^ The record was never verified and was often disputed. The New York Times believed the claims to have been exaggerated with the speed being closer to, a still respectable, 70–80 miles per hour (110–130 km/h).