This type of locomotive with 2 pilot wheels, 8 drive wheels, and 2 trailing wheels to support a larger firebox was first built for the Emperor of Japan, thus the name Mikado type. American Locomotive Company Order No. S-934 was completed in March of 1913. 1003 was part of this order constructed at the Alco plant in Schenectady, New York. The original cost of the 1003 was $25,654.63. Scrap price in the late 1950s for this size locomotive was about $5,000.00.
Soo Line locomotive 1003 at Schiller Park, Ill., ca. 1952. Photo by Paul Nadolski.
Engine 1003 had 28″x30″ cylinders, 63″ drivers, and came with a tender of 7500 gallons of water and 12 tons of coal capacity. Total weight was originally 433,500 pounds. The boiler carried 170 pounds per square inch pressure with 258 two inch flues and 34 five and three eighth inch flues. A Schmidt superheater was included in the original locomotive. Grate area of the firebox was 63.26 sq. ft. and the combined heating surface was 5163 square feet. This combination produced a starting tractive effort of 53,940 pounds.
The brake system was a Westinghouse 8 1/2 inch LH cross compound air pump. Valve gear is Walschaerts. Originally the locomotive was equipped with an oil headlight. Late in 1913 and during 1914 electric headlights were being applied to this series of engines. Other changes were made during the working life of 1003.
Soo Line 1003 was first restored in the period 1993-1996 with new boiler tubes and flues along with other necessary repairs. Tasks were performed in accordance with Federal Railway Administration guidelines and requirements. Locomotive 1003 then operated successfully in numerous events over the next 14 years. Between February, 2011 and September, 2012 a second rebuild of 1003 took place which has allowed it to resume service in October of 2012.