The S-3 is the culminating iteration of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroads own 1930 S-1 Northern design. In 1937, Baldwin delivered 30 S-2s into service and in 1940 delivered another 10 S-2 locomotives. Finally, in 1943, 10 S-3 locomotives -- road numbers 260 -269 -- were delivered to assist in the wartime effort, this time from the ALCO.
A slightly leaner version of its elder brother the S-2, the S-3 weighs in at 460,000lbs with a tractive effort of 62,040lbs.
Having served only 10 years in its designed capacity, the North Star Rail decided in 1991 to restore the locomotive for mainline excursions.
The #261 S-3 is currently owned and maintained by Minneapolis-based Friends of the 261, which runs excursions seasonally. Since completion of its restoration in 1993, #261 has run over 25,000 miles under its own power!