Ardmore's Steam Locomotive

Ardmore's Steam Locomotive

Engine No. 1108

The Prairie Steam Locomotive above is located in front of the Hardy Murphy Coliseum at 500 South Lake Murray Drive in Ardmore. Though this locomotive looks tranquil in it's permanent resting place now, it's past has some tense moments.

In 1915 a railroad worker was repairing a 250 barrel gasoline tanker car on the railroad tracks near East Main street, when a spark ignited an explosion. That accident, from then on, would always be known as the "Big Explosion" to the people of Ardmore.

Much of the downtown area of Ardmore was destroyed by the tremendous explosion. Over two dozen people were killed and many more were hurt. It was immediately after the explosion that the call for help went out on the wire, and the above locomotive was called into service to bring badly needed doctors and nurses to Ardmore.

This locomotive gave it's all, coming from Gainesville, Texas with a full head of steam, as fast as it could travel, carrying it's life-saving medical personnel, making the 45 mile stretch of rail in record time.



Last Modified March 19, 1996