ATSF combine 2543

If the inclusion of doodlebugs in this tabulation stretches the definition of "preserved locomotives," the inclusion of coach, baggage, and express car 2543 must bring it close to the breaking point. The car's unique history, however, warrants its inclusion here. Although most of its 60 year career was spent as a nonpowered combine, the 2543 started life as an experimental self-propelled steam railcar numbered M.104. The car was assembled in 1911, using a body built new by American Car & Foundry. Inside, an oil-fired Jacobs-Shupert boiler provided steam to a power truck designed by Ganz of Austria. The inside-bearing power truck had two small cylinders mounted horizontally between the wheels. The pistons were linked to outside rods which drove the wheels. The M.104 was a novel experiment that, and like many novel experiments, didn't pan out. The car was retired in 1913, and four years later was rebuilt into a simple, non-powered combine (coach, baggage, and express) numbered 1356. In November, 1926, it was renumbered 2543. The car saw service on various Santa Fe mixed trains into the 1960's. In June 1972, a year after Amtrak was created, the car was donated to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. The picture shows the car as it appeared at the museum in November 1999. This would have been the cab end of the M.104, though virtually no traces remain of the car's singular past.


1. McCall, John B., Coach Cabbage and Caboose, Kachina Press, 1979.
2. Worley, E. D., Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail, Southwest Railroad Historical Society, 1965.

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