By the end of 1940 the Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific) owned 42 Northern or 4-8-4 locomotives, but a traffic surge during World War II revealed the need for more heavy freight power. In 1943 Alco delivered ten more 4-8-4s of class S-3. Weighing 460,000 pounds, these engines were heavier than the earlier classes due to wartime restrictions on domestic use of lighter metals, but with 62,040 pounds of tractive effort they were not the Milwaukee's most powerful Northerns. For their other dimensions, see the notes for No. 264. No. 261 of class S-3 is now owned by Railroading Heritage of Midwest America, otherwise known as Friends of the 261. Active in recent years as excursion power, the locomotive is undergoing a rebuild to restore it to operation. I photographed No. 261 at Naperville, Illinois on June 25, 2004, outbound from Chicago with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe employee special (and Amtrak diesels as backup). For another view of No. 261 in a steam triple-header at Bureau Junction, Illinois in 2006, click here.