The Louisville and Nashville bought a total of forty-two Class M-1 2-8-4 Berkshires, nicknamed the "Big Emmas". Three batches produced some of the most expensive Berkshire type locomotives.
The L&N received its first order of Berkshires in 1942 from Baldwin and were numbered 1950-1963. 1950-1959 were placed into freight service while 1960-1963 were placed into passenger service.
After the engines showing their worth during WW2, the L&N bought another six engines from Baldwin in 1944. This group was numbered 1964-1969 and had upgraded features unlike their older batch.
The last batch went to Lima for twenty-two more and were delivered in 1949. These engines were numbered 1970-1991. This last batch had the most modern upgrades to the date of their building.
The locomotives earned the nickname "Big Emmas" by their crews. The Big Emmas worked everywhere on the L&N system before dieselization. These engines would be the second to last steam order for Lima before they began building diesels.
L&N was one of several railroads that began rapid diselization, dieselizing on November 6th, 1956. All Big Emmas from the first two orders were scrapped in 1956.
None of the "Big Emmas" locomotives survived but two tenders were saved. A tender from 1966 survives at the Southeastern Railway Museum while a tender from 1985 survives at the Kentucky Railway Museum. However the ghost of the Big Emma would come back 60 years later, in the summer of 2016, for C&O 2716 was given a makeover into the next L&N Big Emma - number 1992. Since 2716 is being restored to operation, it is currently unknown if it will use this appearance or use it's normal appearance.