Freight Motor 254

In 1891 the Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company broke ground for a copper reduction works on the banks of the Missouri river across from the City of Great Falls. An electrolytic copper refinery and a furnace refinery were built the next year, which made possible the treatment from ore to commercial products. In 1910 the Anaconda Copper Mining Company took over the properties, designating them as the Great Falls Reduction Department. The operation gradually changed from copper concentrating and smelting to refining, wire and cable manufacture, and electrolytic zinc and cadmium production.

An electric railway system moved materials between the various departments. Nine miles of standard gauge track was supplied power by third rail carrying 550-volt direct current. Motive power included a 40-ton motor, a 35-ton motor, four 25ton motors, a 15-ton motor, and two 10-ton motors.

The locomotives were sold for scrap in 1973, and languished at the Weissman & Sons scrap yard until five of them were donated to the Museum.

# L254 is a 25 ton electric locomotive built by General Electric. It was equipped with Third Rail Shoes for use at the cooper mines as a trolley wire a pole would have been in the way. It was assigned to the Great Falls Reduction Department at Anaconda Copper Mining

This type of freight motor is typically called a steeple cab. The cab was designed to give the operator a clear view no matter which direction the motor was pulling. This way the locomotive would never have to be turned around

Technical Information

  • Car #: 254
  • Year Built: Delivered in 1916
  • Builder: General Electric
  • Operator: Anaconada Copper
  • Car Type:  25 Ton Freight Motor
  • Year Museum acquired:  
  • Common Name: Steeple Cab (25 Ton)
  • Track Gauge: Standard
  • # of trucks/Wheels: 2 Trucks/8 wheels
  • Car Status: In Restoration
  • Other details: