CB&Q engine 3006, a Hudson class S-4, 4-6-4 locomotive, was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1930. It was one of 12 built by Baldwin for the CB&Q.
The length of the engine and tender is 93'4 5/8", the height is 14'10". The total weight of the engine and tender is 728,920 pounds. The tender capacity is 27 tons of coal and 15,000 gallons of water. It is said the top speed would be 110 MPH. When it was retired, the engine had logged 2,348,267 miles in freight and passenger service.
Engine 3006 was given by the CB&Q to the City of Galesburg in 1962. With the opening of the Galesburg Railroad Museum, the City turned over by lease the maintenance of the locomotive and the Museum since that time has cared for and kept the engine in top condition at its expense. The citizens of Galesburg donated $3200 in 1962 to pay the expense of moving and building of track for the engine in Colton Park.
This type engine was needed as the CB&Q had the United States Post Office Department contract for moving mail between Chicago and Minneapolis, Omaha and Kansas City where it connected with other railroads to the West. These engines would handle 13 to 15 cars such as coaches, sleepers and mail cars. At that time in history it was important for railroads to operate passenger and mail trains on time and at a speed that would get the job done. The 3006 type engine was a daily sight through Galesburg. They were taken off and put on trains and serviced and inspected at the Galesburg roundhouse. Federal law required that the fire be extinguished and boilers inspected on a regular time schedule. There was always an engine at Galesburg to replace one that had to be taken off a train. Changing engines would not cause over a ten minute delay.
To our knowledge this engine was never operated at its maximum speed. A former Museum board member who was a fireman and engineer between Galesburg and Ottumwa tells of a time they were late and in order to make up time, pulled the throttle back but as the speed reached 100 MPH, the engine was lunging and they were afraid it would jump the track and they slowed it down. Speed was checked against the speed gauge by using their watch and checking the time between mile post markers.
With the development of the diesel engines during the late 1930s and early 1940s when light weight passenger cars were being built, the 3006 type engine held its own because early diesel engines did not have the power to handle 12 to 15 cars at top speed. Diesel engines handled the stainless steel passenger trains leaving the combination passenger and mail trains to the steam engines until after World War II in the late 1940s.
After the war, larger and more powerful diesel engines were made for passenger and mail service to replace the steam engines. The steam locomotives which were used in passenger service were then moved over into freight service, among them the 3006. They were not used to pull long heavy freight trains but on stock or fruit trains where they operated very well. The only change that had to be made was to add a seat behind the fireman's seat where the head brakeman would ride. Steam engines made for freight trains had smaller wheels and more wheels to get traction on the rails. The passenger steam engine did not fade out of service until around 1960 because of how well they operated on the smaller freight trains during the peak seasons.
The 3006 generated its own electric power for the lights from a steam driven dynamo. Everything that moves on the engine is driven by steam pressure or air pressure.
The water tank behind the coal hopper holds 15,000 gallons. There is a water gauge on the engine that tells how much water is in the boiler. To find out how much water is in the water tank, it is necessary to climb out over the coal, or if stopped climb up the side, open the cover and use your flashlight. It contained baffles to hold the water stable and the number of baffles showing would indicate the gallons inside. Water cranes along the tracks would put out 1000 gallons a minute when filling the water tank. How far the engine would go on a tank of water was dependent on conditions such as weather, size of train and so on, but 200 miles would be a norm on passenger and 50 to 100 miles on freight.
The coal hopper held 27 tons of stoker coal. The coal moved to the fire box by means of a steam driven auger under the floor. They would occasionally break down and the fireman had to use a hand shovel. One fireman would not shovel enough to keep the fire up to operate the engine this size at maximum speed, and it would be necessary to get another fireman or the brakeman to help.
When the stoker moved the coal up to the pot inside the fire box door, the fireman would open an air jet and blow the coal to the part of the fire box that needed it. There are five jets located just inside the fire box, and by operating the proper valve he could cover the entire fire box except for that area right in front, and it was necessary he shovel the coal in there.