St. Louis–San Francisco 4003

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St. Louis–San Francisco 4003
Frisco 4003 steam locomotive in 2008.jpg
Frisco 4003 in 2008.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder ALCO
Serial number 60946
Model USRA Light Mikado
Build date August–October 1919
 • Whyte 2-8-2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia. 33 in (838 mm)
Driver dia. 63 in (1,600 mm)
Trailing dia. 44 in (1,118 mm)
Wheelbase 36.9 ft (11 m)
Width 10.0 ft (3.0 m)
Height 15.1 ft (4.6 m)
Axle load 60,100 lb (27 t)
Adhesive weight 228,400 lb (104 t)
Loco weight 305,424 lb (139 t)
Tender weight 189,400 lb (86 t)
Total weight 494,824 lb (224 t)
Fuel type Coal
Water cap 10,000 US gal (37,854 l)
Tender cap. 18 short tons (16 t)
 • Firegrate area
67 sq ft (6 m2)
Boiler 90 in (2,286 mm)
Boiler pressure 200 psi (1 MPa)
Heating surface 4,714 sq ft (438 m2)
 • Flues 3,441 sq ft (320 m2)
 • Tubes and flues 3,821 sq ft (355 m2)
 • Firebox 380 sq ft (35 m2)
 • Type Schmidt
 • Heating area 882 sq ft (82 m2)
Cylinders 2
Cylinder size 26 in × 30 in (660 mm × 762 mm)
Valve gear Walschaerts
Valve type Piston
Loco brake Air
Train brakes Air
Performance figures
Tractive effort 54,700 lbf (243 kN)
Factor of adh. 4.17
Operators Frisco
Number in class Lima Locomotive Works: 30
(#4002, 4003, 4005)
Numbers 4000-4032
Axle load class 51
First run 1919
Retired 1952
Current owner Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Static display

St. Louis San Francisco (Frisco) Railway Steam Locomotive #4003
St. Louis–San Francisco 4003 is located in Arkansas
St. Louis–San Francisco 4003
St. Louis–San Francisco 4003 is located in the US
St. Louis–San Francisco 4003
Location 100 S 4th St., Fort Smith, Arkansas
Coordinates 35°23′7″N 94°25′47″W / 35.38528°N 94.42972°W / 35.38528; -94.42972Coordinates: 35°23′7″N 94°25′47″W / 35.38528°N 94.42972°W / 35.38528; -94.42972
Area less than one acre
Built 1919
Architect American Locomotive Company
NRHP reference #


Added to NRHP July 12, 2004

St. Louis–San Francisco 4003 is a 2-8-2, Mikado type, standard gauge steam railway locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company in 1919 as a standard USRA Light Mikado for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The PRR, for unknown reasons, rejected 33 of 38 locomotives in the order. The United States Railroad Administration reassigned 23 of them (road numbers 4000-4007 and 4017-4031) to the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (SLSF), also known as the "Frisco". The Frisco also received 10 sisters from the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad (road numbers 4008-4016 and 4032), making 33 in all. She is now on display at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The USRA Designs[edit]

The railroads of the United States were nationalized during World War I, from December, 1917 to March, 1920. As part of this, locomotives built during the period were one of the twelve USRA standard designs, which included the Light Mikado. 4003 was one of 625 built by the USRA; another 641 were built after the USRA era, making it one of the most numerous single locomotive designs of all time. After Frisco received the Mikados, it modified them with boosters on the trailing trucks and raised cab roofs for more headroom.[3]


4003 was one of three of the class built by Alco at its Schenectady Locomotive Works in late summer 1919. The balance of the class was built by Lima.[1] It cost $53,619.[3]

The Frisco put it into service hauling freight between Fort Smith, Arkansas and Monett, Missouri, which included a stretch through the Boston Mountains that was relatively steep. Two major sources of carloads were berries, a million quarts shipped in 1941, and zinc, which was smelted in Fort Smith.[3]

Like all the other US railroads, the Frisco actively began converting to diesel power in the late forties. 4003 was retired in early 1952, shortly before the last steam powered train on the Frisco, between Birmingham and Bessemer, Alabama in February. Frisco kept the locomotive until 1954 when it donated it to the City of Fort Smith. The city placed it on display in Kay Rodgers Park where it remained for almost 50 years. Early in this century, the city transferred the locomotive to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum with the provision that the museum pay for the moving. It now sits outside at the museum. While it could probably be restored to operating condition, the museum has no track on which to run it and the restoration cost would be considerable.[3]

The locomotive was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 as St. Louis San Francisco (Frisco) Railway Steam Locomotive #4003.[5]

Frisco 4003 on display in 2016 at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas
steam locomotive with headlight lit
Front, headlight lit 
steam locomotive interior
steam locomotive drive wheels
Drive wheels 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "St. Louis-San Francisco Mikados". Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Frisco Lines 4000-4032". Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "St. Louis San Francisco Railway Steam Locomotive #4003, Fort Smith, Sebastian County". Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Complete SL-SF Steam Roster -Brand.xls". Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.