Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 Readied for Move to Ohio

The massive steam locomotive has been loaded onto two specialty flatcars for the move to Age of Steam in Ohio. Photo Courtesy of Age of Steam. 

Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 Readied for Move to Ohio

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

A massive 2-10-4 locomotive that once ran on the Bessemer & Lake Erie is being readied for a move to the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Ohio. 

Last week, B&LE 643 was loaded onto two specialty flatcars in McKees Rocks, Pa., where the steam locomotive has been stored for decades. The locomotive, believed to be one of the largest non-articulated steamers in the world, is expected to move west in the coming weeks. However, officials with Age of Steam said they could not offer specifics about when the move will take place. 

Locomotive 643 was built by Baldwin in 1944, but it only ran in regular service for about eight years. Thankfully, the locomotive was preserved by B&LE in the roundhouse in Greenville, Pa. In the 1980s, it was sold to a private individual who kicked off an effort to restore it to operation. While a lot of work was completed by the late 1990s, the locomotive was never run and the owner kept it in storage for decades. In 2019, Age of Steam purchased it in tribute to its founder, Jerry Joe Jacobson, who had long dreamed of acquiring the locomotive he had dubbed “The King.” 

For more information and to learn how you can donate to the effort to move and cosmetically restore the locomotive, visit Age of Steam’s website

This article was posted on: December 5, 2023