Trains at the Ford Museum

I was recently in Michigan and had the opportunity to visit the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn. There is a gallery devoted to railroad exhibits.

ford-museum-challenger-1

One of two C & O ‘Allegheny’ locomotives known to exist. A sign informs that this is the most photographed object in the museum. The entire 1830’s train in the foreground is shorter than the locomotive behind.

ford-museum-challenger-2

The backhead:

ford-museum-challenger-backhead

And the view from the engineer’s seat:

ford-museum-challenger-engineer-side-view

The firebox:

ford-museum-challenger-firebox

And the tender coal bin:

ford-museum-challenger-tender-interior

There’s an example of Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’. When Henry Ford wanted one for the museum, there were no original examples. The company that built the original was still in business, so Ford commissioned the locomotive. Because the original builder built the engine from original plans, is this a replica, or a new locomotive?

ford-museum-stephenson-rocket

The first diesel-electric from 1926. At the time they were known as ‘oil-electrics’.

ford-museum-1926-oil-electric-locomotive

There’s other equipment in the gallery, along with Brio trains for the kids. Judging by the attendance, trains still fascinate children, and not a few adults. The museum has a railroad on the grounds, but I didn’t have time to see it.

A Prototype for Everything

ford-museum-working-model-steam-train

Henry Ford had a narrow gauge railroad built on the grounds as a demonstrator for clients and a way to easily access a fishing spot. The locomotive ran from DC current through the rails. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

 

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