Engine 494, an American type 4-4-0 locomotive, steamed out of  the builder's yard at the Manchester Locomotive Works in Manchester,  New Hampshire in July 1892. The 494 was originally built for the  Eastern Railroad but was later acquired by the Boston & Maine  Railroad. In 1911 No. 494 was renumbered as the 905. This historic  engine had served the Eastern Railroad and the B&M, hauling passenger  cars and light freight. Toward the end, the 494 was used to haul  coal from Fabyan Station, at steep grade, to Marshfield Station  at the 2700 foot level of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. This  coal was used by the Mount Washington Cog Railway for its climb  to the 6,288 foot summit. Engine No. 494 was finally retired in  1938.

 

Through the years, this locomotive was modernized. The wooden  cab was replaced by one made of steel. The oil headlamp was replaced  with an electric headlight, along with other improvements. All  of this modernization, however, was reversed when the 494 was  cosmetically restored for the 1939 New York World's Fair. Each  part of the train that had been modernized was back-dated with  original type equipment. The steam-powered electric generator  was removed. The electric headlight was replaced with an original  design oil light and the cab was rebuilt with wood. The 1939 restoration  was done at the Boston & Main shops in Billerica, Massachusetts.  No attempt was made at that time to restore the engine to full  steam.

 

Following the '39 World's Fair. No. 494 was stored at the Fitchburg  and Lowell yards for several years. There was talk of scrapping  this engine. Finally, a Boston-based group, later incorporated  as "The Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc.", acquired No. 494 from the  Boston & Maine Railroad, saving the engine from the scrap yard.  The RRE sought a permanent home for this historic steam locomotive.  Finding interest in the North, ownership of the locomotive was  transferred to the Town of Hartford, Vermont in 1957. The engine  remains on display today at this historic hub of railroad activity.  During its heyday, as many as 50 trains a day arrived and disembarked  from White River Junction, in Hartford, Vermont.

 

Once again, the B&M 494 has been brought to the center of attention  by a group of railroad buffs. A restoration group has been formed  under the direction of The Town of Hartford, Vermont, Hartford Parks & Recreation Department. The goal of the 494 Restoration Committee in White River Junction  is to document the history of the B&M 494 and restore the engine  as closely as possible to its original condition.

 

Seeking Assistance!!!

We are gratefully accepting contributions of funds and historical  materials (railroad photographs, artifacts, etc.).
For more information, please visit our
contributions page.