This engine hauled passenger trains on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway at 20 cars at speed reaching 90 miles an hour or it could haul 100 freight cars at slower rate until the 1960s.
This locomotive was used for passenger and freight works during World War II and they were the heaviest "Northern" type locomotive ever built weighing in at over 510,000 lbs. This due to the limited availability of lightweight materials during the war.
The locomotive was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois in 1961 for the Outdoor Exhibit.
In December of 1994 the Museum of Science and Industry donated this locomotive to the Illinois Railway Museum.
As of Today No. 2903 is on static display at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.
Santa Fe 2903 sits in the late afternoon sun after a herculean effort to move it from its one time home at the Museum of Science & Industry. It is the largest preserved locomotive in Illinois.
The museum was trying to rearranging it's outdoor exhibit and moving many of the outdoor exhibits to the inside the locomotive was just to way to heavy to be move inside the museum.
The locomotive was move from museum in spring of 1995 where the locomotive actually move it through downtown Hyde Park.
Outwardly identical to the 1941 series (3776-3785), the 2900s were built with carbon steel boilers instead of nickel steel due to wartime restrictions. This made the 2900s the heaviest 4-8-4s ever built.