Engine 2542 was built in 1910 by the American Locomotive Company in Pittsburgh, PA., for the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway. In 1929, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway purchased the KCM & O Line and assigned this engine to the Newton, KS terminal. This engine is a "2-8-0" which means there are two front wheels, eight driving wheels, and no rear wheels. In 1955, the engine was moved from Newton, KS to Arkansas City and placed on the siding track at the Standard Oil Bulk Station. The A.C. Andrews Construction Company moved the engine six blocks down Birch Street to Wilson Park. The move was accomplished by placing temporary track down and using compressed air to move the engine weighing almost 100 tons. The relocated engine was placed on a concrete pad and dedicated during the 24th Annual Arkalalah Celebration that same year.
The following people helped in the moving of the locomotive: Engineers: J.O. Guffry, Tom Bender, H.S. Gibson, R.C. Gibson, H.B Bartlett, and George Wylle, Section Foreman Jim Dill.
The following is the dedication speech by John Landreth, General Manager AT&SF
To a railroad man a locomotive has always been a thing of life and power, and it always seems to me a ceremony of this kind is a fitting last rite for a thing we have labored with so long. I've often thought of the countless number of people who have heard its whistle at all hours, enjoyed the fruits of its labor, hauling goods from far away places as it crossed the states so many times, and of the men who have run her - not the least of whom were boys from six to 60 who vicariously ran her as they watched her go by. "It is for those little men to come we join you in setting aside this engine that they too, may have a part of her, the like of which has helped to build our great nation."