Archives

Missabe Iron

Last steam locomotive in normal service in the USA?

NOT railfan or tourist service. I.E. regular commercial revenue earning service. What I want to know is what year it was and if possible what railroad and where. Of couse it is quite likely that the last one of all was in industrial use at a factory or similar - it would be nice to know where and when this was too.
I appreciate this is rather a grey area. In Britain, technically, the Vale of Rheidol Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Isle of Man Railway have just carried on running and never dieselised - (fully at least) but these lines are run for tourists and steam is part of the 'attraction'. So I think that rules out the Pikes Peak railroad as one example.
Thank you in advance.

These types of questions are often difficult, primarily because "the last day of the last steam engine" as a strict matter of fact is probably lost to history, but there are accurate accounts of the last services of different road names and classes of steam engines. It is true the last "regular" service was in rock quarries and the like, and I know that at at least one US Naval Depot ran steam until as late as 1964. But I'm thinking you're more interested in the Class 1 railroads. In that category there were four "die hards" of steam.

The die hards were found east of the Mississippi with but one exception. Those eastern railroads were the Nickle Plate Road, Norfolk Western and the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. By the end of 1958, the last of these were classified as "stored ready for use".

The Nickle Plate Railroad used the 2-8-4 Berkshires until the end, between Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Chicago. On Sunday evening, June 15th, 1958, the last Berkshire delivered the last load of goods to Chicago, sent to the roundhouse, where the fire was dropped, unceremoniously.

Most railroads only used the newest, biggest, most advanced steam engines until the end, where they were not only worked, but worked hard. The steam rebels of the Norfolk and Western, the Y-6b 2-8-8-2s and class A 2-6-6-4s worked the coal trains of Kentucky and West Virginia north and east to ocean and lake ports, regularly handling 175 car, 13,000 ton trains. These too were silenced before the end of 1958, with the notable exception of the J class 4-8-4s, which made it as far as the mibble of 1959.

The behemoths of the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range made it a little further, but the last of their laborious barking was heard in early 1960, in regular service. There were two kept on "standby" status, but they never saw the main line again.

The last of steam, in regular service for a class 1 railroad, was found at home on the property of the Denver and Rio Grande Western's 3 foot gage, which operated in regular revenue freight service until 1961. Of course it seemlessly moved into the realm of tourist railroad with the spectacular scenery and more than a couple of the old "mud hens" survive to this day, operating both in Colorado and southern California.

This is all I can find on the subject, so I would say the last of regular steam operations occurred in 1961.

Find Missabe Iron On eBay Below:

Bachmann Ore Car Ready to Run Silver SeriesR Duluth Missabe
Bachmann Ore Car Ready to Run Silver SeriesR Duluth Missabe
$17.82
HO Scale Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 1400 Freight Train Ore Car Bachmann
HO Scale Duluth Missabe Iron Range 1400 Freight Train Ore Car Bachmann
$6.95
HO C8 Roundhouse Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Caboose Kit
HO C8 Roundhouse Duluth Missabe Iron Range Caboose Kit
$10.07
Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railroad ore car no number Bachmann Silver 18644
Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railroad ore car no number Bachmann Silver 18644
$14.95
Ho Train Vintage Roundhouse Cupola Caboose DMIR Duluth Missabe  Iron Range
Ho Train Vintage Roundhouse Cupola Caboose DMIR Duluth Missabe Iron Range
$35.00
SILVER SERIES  DMIR  DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE  ORE CAR HO Scale TrainNEW
SILVER SERIES DMIR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE ORE CAR HO Scale TrainNEW
$24.97
Ho Scale Decals Only Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Enough to do one Loco
Ho Scale Decals Only Duluth Missabe Iron Range Enough to do one Loco
$7.00
HO Scale Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 1400 Freight Train Ore Car Upgraded
HO Scale Duluth Missabe Iron Range 1400 Freight Train Ore Car Upgraded
$8.95
Waltehrs HO Diluth Missabe  Iron Range Ore Car 94130 w kadee
Waltehrs HO Diluth Missabe Iron Range Ore Car 94130 w kadee
$14.39
Ho Scale Two sets Decals Only Duluth Missabe  Iron Range
Ho Scale Two sets Decals Only Duluth Missabe Iron Range
$17.00
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 24000
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 24000
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 24719
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 24719
$11.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23983
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23983
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23997
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23997
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23996
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23996
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23987
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23987
$14.99
Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 2 8 8 4 M4 w tender PFM Collectors Quality
Duluth Missabe Iron Range 2 8 8 4 M4 w tender PFM Collectors Quality
$2,099.99
Shoreham Shops HO Caboose Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Tall Cupola C 74 76
Shoreham Shops HO Caboose Duluth Missabe Iron Range Tall Cupola C 74 76
$225.00
4 Model Die Casting Roundhouse HO Train Ore Cars Duluth Missabe
4 Model Die Casting Roundhouse HO Train Ore Cars Duluth Missabe
$31.30
ROUNDHOUSE 3476 DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE RAILROAD MODERN CABOOSE RED C190
ROUNDHOUSE 3476 DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE RAILROAD MODERN CABOOSE RED C190
$9.86
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 24704
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 24704
$7.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 24713
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 24713
$7.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23977
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23977
$7.99
Bachmann HO Scale Silver Series Duluth Missabe  Iron Rance Ore Car 1400
Bachmann HO Scale Silver Series Duluth Missabe Iron Rance Ore Car 1400
$9.99
Bachmann 18604 HO Scale 71302 Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Mineral Red Ore Car
Bachmann 18604 HO Scale 71302 Duluth Missabe Iron Range Mineral Red Ore Car
$23.42
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23985
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23985
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23979
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23979
$14.99
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23989
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23989
$14.99
WALTHERS 932 7682 PLATINUM G2 WOOD CABOOSE DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE DMIR C 70
WALTHERS 932 7682 PLATINUM G2 WOOD CABOOSE DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE DMIR C 70
$99.95
HO Scale Ore Car Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 71302 BAC 18604
HO Scale Ore Car Duluth Missabe Iron Range 71302 BAC 18604
$25.65
Herald King decals HO L 390 Duluth Missabe Iron Range maroon diesel hood M38
Herald King decals HO L 390 Duluth Missabe Iron Range maroon diesel hood M38
$7.70
HO ORE CAR DULUTHMISSABEIRON RANGE  BAC18644 NIB NEVER OPENED
HO ORE CAR DULUTHMISSABEIRON RANGE BAC18644 NIB NEVER OPENED
$24.00
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE  IRON RANGE 23994
RCR MDC 22ft ORE CAR DULUTH MISSABE IRON RANGE 23994
$7.99
Bachmann Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Hopper Car 1400 no box
Bachmann Duluth Missabe Iron Range Hopper Car 1400 no box
$6.99
HO Broadway Limited RSD 15 Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 55 Sound DCC 4885
HO Broadway Limited RSD 15 Duluth Missabe Iron Range 55 Sound DCC 4885
$289.00
HO Broadway Limited RSD 15 Duluth Missabe  Iron Range 52 Sound DCC 4884
HO Broadway Limited RSD 15 Duluth Missabe Iron Range 52 Sound DCC 4884
$289.00
Tenshodo HO Brass Diluth Missabe  Iron Range Caboose C 174
Tenshodo HO Brass Diluth Missabe Iron Range Caboose C 174
$124.99
Tenshodo HO Brass Diluth Missabe  Iron Range Caboose C 55
Tenshodo HO Brass Diluth Missabe Iron Range Caboose C 55
$124.99
LMB KMT HO Diluth Missabe  Iron Range Wide Vsion Caboose C 211
LMB KMT HO Diluth Missabe Iron Range Wide Vsion Caboose C 211
$120.00
Bachmann 18604 HO Duluth Missabe  Iron Range Ore Car 71302 mineral red
Bachmann 18604 HO Duluth Missabe Iron Range Ore Car 71302 mineral red
$26.02


Recently Purchased Missabe Iron:


roundhouse 3476 duluth missabe amp; iron range railroad modern caboose red c190, ho scale duluth missabe amp; iron range 1400 freight train ore car upgraded, shoreham shops ho caboose duluth missabe amp; iron range tall cupola c7476, walthers 9327681 platinum g2 wood caboose duluth missabe iron range dmir c74, ho scale two sets decals only duluth missabe amp; iron range , walthers 9327902 gold line difco dump car duluth missabe and iron range dmir , ho scale duluth missabe amp; iron range 1400 freight train ore car bachmann, 4 model die castingroundhouse ho train ore cars duluth missabe , ho scale decals only duluth missabe amp; iron range enough to do one loco , ho c8 roundhouse duluth missabe amp; iron range caboose kit, lmb kmt ho diluth missabe amp; iron range wide vsion caboose c211, tenshodo ho brass diluth missabe amp; iron range caboose c174, tenshodo ho brass diluth missabe amp; iron range caboose c55, ho train vintage roundhouse cupola caboose dmamp;ir duluth missabe amp; iron range, duluth missabe and iron range railroad ore car no number bachmann silver 18644, ho scale ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 71302 bac18604 , walthers 9327682 platinum g2 wood caboose duluth missabe amp; iron range dmir c70, waltehrs ho diluth missabe amp; iron range ore car 94130 wkadee, bachmannore car ready to run silver seriesr duluth missabe , ho broadway limited rsd15 duluth missabe amp; iron range 52 sound dcc 4884, ho broadway limited rsd15 duluth missabe amp; iron range 55 sound dcc 4885, bachmann 18604 ho scale 71302 duluth missabe amp; iron range mineral red ore car, bachmann 18604 ho duluth missabe amp; iron range ore car 71302 mineral red, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 24713, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23977, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 24704, bachmann ho scale silver series duluth missabe amp; iron rance ore car 1400, bachmann duluth missabe amp; iron range hopper car 1400 no box, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23994, duluth missabe amp; iron range 2884 m4 wtender pfm collectors quality, ho ore car duluthmissabeiron range bac18644 nib never opened, herald king decals ho l390 duluth missabe iron range maroon diesel hood m38, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 24000, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 24719, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23983, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23997, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23996, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23987, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23985, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23979, rcr mdc 22ft ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range 23989, silver series dmir duluth missabe amp; iron range ore car ho scale trainnew, varney ho scale box car om11 ore car duluth missabe amp; iron range brown



Comments are closed.