Green Bay & Western Lines
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#401 (1954.04.21)

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The Class D-47 Mikados, last steam power on the railroad, await the scrapper's torch the spring of 1954.

The years after World War II saw rapid change on the Green Bay Route. Diesel-electric locomotives which made their debut in October 1938 with yard switcher #101 took on the main line with the acquisition of five Alco FA-1s in 1947-49, four RS-2s in 1950, and a pair of RS-3s in 1951. The six 2-8-2 Mikados which had previously ruled the railroad soon found themselves out of work.

Between February 27 and March 18, 1950 the six Mikados made their last revenue runs on the line. A month later, the last steam locomotives in maintenance-of-way work were silenced also. Diesel power had triumphed on the Green Bay Route.

The six 2-8-2's were stored in the roundhouse for several years and then moved to an outdoor storage track in the nearby Milwaukee Road's Oakland Avenue yard when local scrap dealer Betten's Salavge made an offer to purchase all six. What had been the pride of the Green Bay Route, costing $83,425 each only a dozen years earlier, were sold for $36,000 for the entire lot. In 1956 they were finally dragged to the scrap yard.

This photo was taken in the spring of 1954 and shows #401 in storage, probably at the Milwaukee Road's Oakland Street yard in Green Bay. Sister locomotives are lined up ahead and behind the engine. The bolted-on GREEN BAY ROUTE herald has already been taken from the tender of #401. About three or four of the tender heralds still exist.

Photo, April 21, 1954, photographer unknown.
From the collection of Mark Mathu.

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Updated July 11, 2015