Scenic USA - Michigan

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
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Pere Marquette #1223

Pere Marquette #1223

Photo and Feature Article
by Monnie Ryan
zenfolio gallery

     The Pere Marquette Railroad operated in the early 1900s with a fleet of Superpower Berkshires. Eventually the steam locomotives were replaced with diesel engines during the late 1940s. The 1223, pictured here, along with 1225 are the two survivors from a total of 39 Pere Marquette steam locomotives. The 1223 was used to move war materials between Chicago and Detroit, making the run in record time. This overweight, 800,000 pound behemoth was limited to a few lines between Toledo, Saginaw, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Chicago.
     Old 1223 was retired in 1951, retaining her number through the Chesapeake and Ohio merger. The characteristics of the Superpower Berkshires had been high drivers, large fireboxes and high working pressures.The 1223, over 100 feet in length, stood 16 feet at the engine using 69 inch wheels. Wilhelm Schmidt developed a method to deliver super heated steam to the drive cylinders. This technology made its way to the United States in the early 1900s, making high powered locomotives possible.
     Today, 1223 is on display in Grand Haven, Michigan, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, thanks to the hard working Pere Marquette Preservation Society and the Tri-Cities Historical Society.



    Copyright 2007 Benjamin Prepelka
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