C-C-3863 American Freedom Train GS-4 Class
4-8-4 Steam Locomotive Road
To celebrate our nation's 200th Bi-Centennial Anniversary
an idea from the past was resurrected to create an exhibit
train that would move around the country with significant
documents and other exhibits of historic and cultural importance
from our nations proud history.
This would enable citizens who were unable to travel and
visit Washington DC or Philadelphia and other famous areas
in our nations history a chance to view memorabilia from
our nations' history.
Southern Pacific Loco 4449 had not been under its own
steam for 16 years and was moved from a Portland,Oregon
City park in 1974 to be rebuilt for use on the American
When the 4449 emerged from the Burlington Northern Portland
Roundhouse in late 1975 it not only was ready for service
on the Freedom Train, but had been repainted in a breath-taking
patriotic new paint scheme as shown in the photo above.
The American Freedom Train traveled the country in 1975
and 1976 and brought part of America's history to millions
of Americans from the large cities to the smallest hamlets.
Invited to participate in the opening of the California
State Railroad Museum in 1981, it seemed most appropriate
to return her to the famous Daylight paint scheme that
she had worn during the heyday of passenger service in
the Golden State. This restored paint scheme was met by
overwhelming approval by the railfan community.
In her Daylight scheme the 4449 again traveled to many
parts of the USA for fan trips and display during the 1980's
and early 1990's.
In 1999 the BNSF leased the locomotive to use for employee
and shipper appreciation trips and 4449 was repainted back
to a black paint scheme with BNSF lettering on it.
In early 2002 it was learned that the Insurance carrier
for the engine was going to raise their insurance premiums
2X in the Spring of 2002 and it was decided to run at least
one more fantrip before the insurance was increased.
It was also decided to repaint the loco for the fantrip...most
fans just assumed it would be repainted back into the famous
Daylight Scheme. But on March 23rd 2002 when railfans showed
up to board their fantrip they were stunned and pleased
to find out that the 4449 had NOT BEEN repainted in the
Daylight Colors, but in the American Freedom Train colors
in honor of the 9-11 tragedy.