From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle, July 7, 1945
LITTLE HELPER - Down from the Burlington-Anacortes branch
line comes this quaint 53-year old locomotive to help the
Great Northern move the terrific volume of war freight
pouring into Seattle. The tender of the little fellow
has been spotted exactly opposite the tender of the big
road engine (GN #2502 P-2 Mountain 4-8-2) to give some
idea of the difference in length of the two locomotives.
David's Cute, But Mighty Aid to War
David is in town helping Goliath move war freight these days.
And because David is quite the smallest locomotive Seattle has
seen in many years, she is attracting a good deal of attention,
most of it humorous, along the waterfront.
David, otherwise Great Northern No. 508, is a 53-year old
Consolidation-type locomotive (two-wheeled engine truck and
eight small drivers), and until recently she has been in
service on the Great Northern's Burlington-Anacortes branch.
She's a primitive and miniscule job compared to the road's
later engines, the Mountain-types, the Mallets and the
Pacifics which bring the heavy war tonnage into Seattle from
over the hill and from Vancouver, B.C.
Even compared to switch engines, she's small and quaint. But
she's fighting congestion in Seattle yards and keeping the
army and navy loads in fluid movement between Interbay yards
and the interchange at the southern end of town.
Recently cars began to pile up here and an emergency call was
sent back along the system for more power. The 508 was among
those which responded. The following information is for
railroad fans only: the 508 was made by Brooks in 1892, was
originally in main-line service and regarded huge, weighs
120,000 pounds on her drivers, has a total weight of 136,000
pounds, and weighs with her tender, 276,000 pounds. She's an
oil-burner, converted from coal, works at 180 pounds steam
pressure and has cylinders 22 by 26 inches.