Locomotive and Tender, Santa Fe Type, SF 915, 1903

This is a model of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway’s No. 915, a slow-speed freight locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1903. This model is part of the collection displayed in the museum’s Railroad Hall exhibit of 1964-2002 to illustrate the technological development of the locomotive.
This large locomotive was designed to haul in a single train what several smaller locomotives had previously pulled in multiple trains. By reducing the number of locomotives used, and therefore the fuel consumed and crews employed, railroad companies could save money.
Steam locomotives are often classified by wheel arrangement, in the order of leading, driving, and trailing wheels. This engine has two leading wheels, ten driving wheels, and two trailing wheels. It is therefore classified as a 2-10-2 locomotive. The 2-10-2 is also known as the Santa Fe type, as the first engine of this design, the No. 915, was built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The Santa Fe was pleased with the engine’s performance and ordered more. Although quite powerful, the 2-10-2 type’s overall popularity was limited by the engine’s slow speed, large turning radius and high maintenance costs.
The No. 915 was a compound locomotive, a design briefly popular from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. This plan improved fuel economy by using steam twice; steam that powered two high-pressure cylinders was immediately reused in two larger, low-pressure cylinders before being exhausted. The No. 915 was a tandem compound, in which the high-pressure cylinder was directly in front of the larger, low-pressure cylinder. However, like most compound locomotives, high maintenance costs offset the savings in fuel, and the No. 915 was rebuilt with only two simple cylinders in 1917.
AOTM website:
Model. Scale: ½" to 1 foot
The "Santa Fe" was a heavy freight locomotive built in September of 1903 by Baldwin Locomotive Works for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.
Original Model. Weight: about 210 tons. Cylinders: (4) high pressure, 19" diameter X 32" stroke; low pressure, 32"bore x 32" stroke. Driving Wheels: 56-1/2" diameter.
Currently on loan
date made
ca 1965
used date
Severn-Lamb Ltd.
place made
United Kingdom: England, Stratford-upon-Avon
Associated Place
United States: Kansas
United States: New Mexico
overall: 7 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in x 39 in; 19.685 cm x 13.335 cm x 99.06 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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