Chessie Steam Special # 2101 T1
When the ever-innovative anthracite hauler was told they couldn't build a new locomotive during the War, the Reading did the next best thing. They "rebuilt" them. The T1 4-8-4s which came from this rebuild program bore little resemblance to the Consolidations from which they came. In fact only a few minor appliances were kept in the conversion, but at least as far as the War Production Board was concerned the locomotives were "rebuilt."
The T1s quickly earned a reputation on the Reading and beyond. After the need for steam in freight service ended, four of the locomotives were retained for the Reading Rambles passenger excursions. These events kept the sights and sound of steam alive for the next generation. The locomotives would later go on to even more fame on the head end of trains like the American Freedom Train and Chessie Steam Specials.