pub-769827371306972 pub-769827371306972
top of page

A 400-ton monster passing through Bluffton

Right out of the Lima Locomotive Works shops in 1941


From the Oct. 16, 1941, Bluffton News -  A giant, 400-ton locomotive built by the Lima Locomotive Works passed thru Bluffton last Saturday on the Nickel Plate Railway, enroute to Grand Rapids, Mich., when it will be placed in service on the Pere Marquette Railroad.


Eleven similar locomotives are under construction at the Lima plant, and will be delivered within the next month.


Each engine weights more than 400 tons, has eight driving wheels; a 34-inch piston stroke and carries 245 pounds of steam pressure.

Note: The Pere Marquette visitor was the earlier cousin to the NKP Berkshire steam locomotives that soon became a regular sight and sound through Bluffton. The following account also from the Bluffton News reports on the locomotive works earnings.


In at year-end report for 1940, the following detailed appeared in the News concerning Lima Locomotive Works.

Lima-built Pere Marquette steam loco

The company  booked orders for 51 locomotives during 1940, against only 14 in 1939.


At the close of the year, there was a backlog of 32 engines on order with 19 having been delivered during the year. Since the first of the year orders for 18 other locomotives have been booked ­– four for the Pere Marquette and two for the Chesapeake and Ohio.


The plant is now operating at capacity production with close to 1,800 employees, the highest payroll in the past 10 years, and indications are that 1941 earnings will be the best in several years.

When the NKP version of the Berkshire came

out of the Lima shops it looked like these photos:

The first Berkshire Bluffton saw going through Bluffton in 1941 -

headed for the Pere Marquette Railroad in Michigan



bottom of page