CB&Q 4-6-4 Hudson Steam Locomotive

Also known as: Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds
1130 Copeland Park Dr, La Crosse, WI 54603

One of five extant CB&Q Hudson locomotives, on display in La Crosse


CB&Q 4000 Looking Southwest

At the time of my visit, it appeared to be under restoration.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2013




This passenger locomotive was the third in a series of twelve 4-6-4 locomotives ordered by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. The first of this S-4 class locomotives built by Baldwin were delivered to the New York Central and ran on lines parallel to the Hudson River, prompting the "Hudson" designation.

The CB&Q Hudsons were the most successful of the steam locomotives used by the CB&Q, carrying enough fuel to not require changing locomotives in the middle of a run. One Hudson is credited with pulling 10 passenger cars to La Crosse at 112 MPH.

In 1937, this locomotive was covered with stainless steel shrouds to resemble the new Zephyrs. It was outfitted with lightweight side rods equipped with roller bearings and lightweight Boxpok drivers. It was renumbered 4000, and dubbed with the Greek mythology name, "Aeolus" the Keeper of the Winds. CB&Q crews quickly Anglicized the name to Alice. There was a popular character in the Popeye comic strip, Alice the Goon, so Aeolus picked up the nickname "Big Alice the Goon." Aeolus was such a success that a second shrouded unit was built from scratch in the CB&Q shops and numbered 4002.

After the dieselization of the CB&Q, the shrouds were removed. Five of the original thirteen Hudsons are extant, on display in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. One of her sisters, CB&Q 4-6-4 Hudson Steam Locomotive 3003 is on display in Burlington, Iowa, namesake of the railroad.

Update Log 

  • September 7, 2014: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dieselpunks - Sunday Streamline #19: West Burlington Aeolus