Freedom Train No. 4449 License Plate
American Freedom Train License Plate
• 6" x 12" .025 Gauge Aluminum
• Includes 4 Mounting Slots & 1/2" Radius Rounded Corners
• UV Protective coating to Prevent Fading
• Image is reproduction - final product might differ slightly
• Made in America
A second freedom train, the American Freedom Train, toured the country in 1975–76 to commemorate the United States Bicentennial. This 26-car train was powered by three newly restored steam locomotives. The first to pull the train was former Reading Company T-1 class 4-8-4 #2101. The second was former Southern Pacific 4449, a large 4-8-4 steam locomotive that is still operating in special excursion service today. The third was former Texas & Pacific 2-10-4 #610, which pulled the train in Texas. Due to light rail loadings and track conditions on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, diesels hauled the train from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama. Diesels were also required in Chicago after the steam locomotive derailed attempting to negotiate tracks by the Chicago lakefront.
The train itself consisted of 10 display cars, converted from New York Central and Penn Central baggage cars. They carried more than 500 treasures of Americana, including George Washington's copy of the Constitution, the original Louisiana Purchase, Judy Garland's dress from The Wizard of Oz, Joe Frazier's boxing trunks, Martin Luther King's pulpit and robes, replicas of Jesse Owens' four Olympic gold medals from 1936 (one of which was stolen somewhere along the way), and even a rock from the moon.
Its tour of all 48 contiguous states lasted from April 1, 1975, until December 31, 1976. More than 7 million Americans visited the train during its tour, while millions more stood trackside to see it go by.
The tour began in Wilmington, Delaware, and headed northeast to New England, west through Pennsylvania, Ohio to Michigan, then around Lake Michigan to Illinois and Wisconsin. From the Midwest, the tour continued westward, zigzagging across the plains to Utah and then up to the Pacific Northwest. From Seattle, Washington, the tour then traveled south along the Pacific coast to southern California. The train and crew spent Christmas 1975 in Pomona, California, decorating the locomotive with a large profile of Santa Claus on the front of the smokebox above the front coupler. For 1976, the tour continued from southern California eastward through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, then turned north to visit Kansas and Missouri before traveling through the Gulf Coast states and then north again to Pennsylvania. The tour continued southeast to New Jersey then south along the Atlantic coast before finally ending December 26, 1976 in Miami, Florida. The last visitor went through the train on December 31, 1976.
In early 1977 National Museums of Canada bought 15 of the cars and from 1978 to 1980 toured across Canada as Discovery Train, a mobile museum focusing on that country's history