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Pennsylvania Railroad 520 facts for kids

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Coordinates: 39°58′56″N 76°9′40″W / 39.98222°N 76.16111°W / 39.98222; -76.16111

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Pennsylvania Railroad 520
Pennsylvania Railroad 520 on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Build date December 1916
Configuration 2-8-2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 62 in (1,575 mm)
Length 82 ft 14 in (25.0 m)
Weight on drivers 232,500 lb (105,500 kg)
Locomotive weight 324,700 lb (147,300 kg)
Tender weight 447,300 lb (202,900 kg)
Locomotive and tender combined weight 772,000 lb (350,000 kg)
Boiler pressure 205 psi (1,413 kPa)
Heating surface: Firebox 305 sq ft (28 m2)
Superheater area 943 sq ft (88 m2)
Tractive effort 61,465 lbf (273 kN)
Factor of adhesion 3.78
Retired October 20, 1957
Current owner Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Official name: Mikado Freight Locomotive No. 520
Designated: December 17, 1979
Part of: Pennsylvania Railroad Rolling Stock Thematic Resource
Reference #: 79002269

Pennsylvania Railroad 520 is a 2-8-2 "Mikado" type steam locomotive built in 1916 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Pennsylvania Railroad for freight duties as a member of the L1s class. In 1942, the locomotive was involved in a devastating boiler explosion incident that required construction of a new, replacement boiler. After being retired in 1957, the locomotive was saved for preservation and placed on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.


The L1s is a class of 2-8-2 steam locomotives that was developed in 1914 to replace the H9s-class. The L1s used boilers identical to the ones eventually used for Pennsylvania Railroad's famed K4s-class steam locomotives. Most L1s locomotives were moved to other duties when the I1s was introduced in 1924.


520 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in December 1916. While pulling freight from Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Conway, Pennsylvania, on November 14, 1942, during World War 2 the boiler on 520 exploded near Cresson. The explosion killed both the engineer and the brakeman, injured the fireman and conductor, and shattered windows on a nearby house. Two occupants of the house were also injured by scalding water and flying embers, which also set a rug on fire. The force of the blast derailed the tender and six tank cars. 520 was eventually repaired and placed back into service.

On October 20, 1957, 520 pulled a "railfan special" out of Baltimore, Maryland, from Enola to Northumberland, Pennsylvania. After a round trip from Northumberland to Enola, it was retired to the Pennsylvania Railroad's collection of historical locomotives. 520 was donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in December 1979 by the Pennsylvania Railroad's successor Penn Central. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1979.

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