The Rail Locomotive No. 220, built in 1915 by the American Locomotive [C]ompany of Schenectady, New York, was the last coal-burning, steam ten-wheeler used on the Central Vermont Railway. As a medium-sized 4-6-0 engine (4 leading wheels, 6 driving wheels, and 0 trailing small wheels), commonly known as a "ten wheeler", it served double duty in Vermont pulling both freight and passenger trains. No. 220 became known as "The Locomotive of the Presidents" because of its use on special trains carrying Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. In addition, the 220 was used on a special train for Winston Churchill during his visit to Canada and the US in late 1941.
Steam locomotives were the only type of railroad engine in the United States until 1895, when the first electric train was introduced; they continued to dominate until the 1950s when the diesel-electric locomotive gained wide acceptance. The tractive effort, or drawbar pull, is about 28,000 pounds at start-up. The maximum power developed was highly dependent on the ability of the fireman and the quality of coal. With an experienced fireman, the locomotive could produce about 1500 hp at 50 mph. The Central Vermont Railway retired No. 220 from service in 1956 and presented it to the Museum for preservation. The shed was built soon afterward
to protect the locomotive and the private car from the elements.