| #4483 was built in May of 1923 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Pennsylvania Railroad, number 259 of a lot of 475, c/n 56534. This "Decapod" is the last one in existance of its class, "I-1s," of which 598 were built. In February, 1931, it was converted to an "I1sa" and assigned to the Eastern Region, Susquehanna Division and Northern Region. On 11-1-1944, #4483 was reassigned to the Eastern Region, Central PA Division and Williamsport Division when it was equiped with "Whistle and Acknowledger for the Cab Signal System."
The I1sa class was designed for freight service, and all came with piston valves, 62-inch drivers, and a boiler pressure of 250 p.s.i. as standard equipment. With a huge firebox (59.5 square feet), twin automatic stokers were installed to keep the large 30.5x32 cylinders full of steam. The stokers and power reverse gear were unusual luxuries that the Pennsy rarely applied to steam locomotives, and the twin air tanks on the pilot gave the class a distinctive and powerful look.
#4483 was no stranger to Western New York, having been assigned to the PRR Ebeenezer, New York yards in the early 50's, and was often seen hauling coal drags up the Elmria Branch to the coal unloading docks in Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, New York. The locomotive was dropped from equipment records on August 7th, 1957 by PRR Chief of Motive Power, Hal T. Cover with instructions to "Hold as Relic." When the Pennsylvania dieselized, the I1sa's were retired and #4483, one of the last to operate, was preserved and stored with other PRR steam power at the Northumberland, Pennsylvania, roundhouse in 1959 as the last remaining example of the class.
In 1963 the Pennsy sold the engine to the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO) to display on the front lawn of their headquarters in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, with the PRR business car "Ohio." WABCO executives had long wanted a railroad display, since their main product (air brake components) was railroad-related. Unfortunately, the equipment was neglected and it soon deteriorated. Sometime during the mid-60's, Westinghouse removed the asbestos boiler insulation but, other than sandblasting and paint, the locomotive received little attention during its stay in Wilmerding. In the fall of 1982, the WNYRHS aquired the engine, tender and the "Ohio," as WABCO no longer wanted them on their property. Today, the locomotive is on display and is currently undergoing cosmetic restoration at the Societies work site in Hamburg, New York with its short haul tender.
Tender is now repainted
"Dark Green Loco Enamel"
|Engineer's side old metal 9/1996||New Sheet Metal 7/2003|
Both rear cab windows have been replaced using original wood frames as patterns. New window
frames were constructed with mortise and tenon joints and glazed with schedule 11 Lexan©.
This is the original Single Note"Banshee Whistle" from #4483
#4483 is still undergoing cosmetic restoration at this time and has just recieved a complete paint job in May 2003. Plans for operational restoration are not in the immediate future due to the economic climate and the lack of railroads willing to take on the insurance risks. However, from professional mechanical inspections, the boiler has been found to be sound but will need retubing and flues. The running gear is in good shape with some spring equalizer work needed. Three years prior to retirement, #4483 had gone through a Class 3 overhaul by the Pennsylvania RR, and the Society is striving to keep the I1sa in better than good condition. As work is completed, watch for updates and new photo's
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The WNYRHS, Inc. P.O. Box 416, Buffalo, NY. 14231-0416 is an independent organization and has no affiliation with any other local or national group. The Society is a fully qualified organization under 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations to the Society are tax deductible. This page last updated on June 28th, 2008 ©Copyright 1999 - 2017 WNYRHS Inc. all rights reserved