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Brooks Locomotive Works builder's plate on display at the MidContinent Railway Museum, North Freedom, WI.  Photo by Sean Lamb.

By The original uploader was Slambo at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Oxyman using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 2.0,

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A Brooks Locomotive slideshow.

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Soo Line No. 2645 at the MidContninent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin, October 10 2004. Photo by Sean Lamb.
Brooks Locomotive Works builder's plate on display at the MidContinent Railway Museum, North Freedom, WI. Photo by Sean Lamb.

Soo Line No. 2645 at the MidContninent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin, October 10 2004.  Photo by Sean Lamb.

By The original uploader was Slambo at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Oxyman using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 2.0,

Brooks Locomotive Works
The Brooks Locomotive Works manufactured steam railroad locomotives and freight cars from 1869 through its merger into the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in 1901.

When the New York and Erie Railroad (NY&E) relocated its shops facilities from Dunkirk, New York, to Buffalo in 1869, Dunkirk lost its largest employer. Coming to the city's rescue was Horatio G. Brooks (1828–1887), the former chief engineer of the NY&E who was at the controls of the first train into Dunkirk in 1851. In 1869, Brooks leased the Dunkirk shops facility from the NY&E and formed the Brooks Locomotive Works. The new company officially opened on November 11, 1869. The company's first steam locomotive is completed the following month as part of an order for the NY&E, the company's first customer.

Within a couple of years of its opening, Brooks was producing as many as seven new locomotives per month, compared to one per month while the facility was controlled by the NY&E. Brooks built locomotives for nearly all of the major railroads of the time, producing 37 new locomotives in its first year and 43 new locomotives in its second year of operations.

After the financial crisis of 1873, orders for new equipment dropped off, but Brooks was able to recover enough business to avoid bankruptcy. Brooks locomotives were displayed a few years later at the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in Chicago, where they were judged the Best in Show.

The 1890s brought another period of depressed sales following another financial crisis. The company produced 226 new locomotives in 1891, but only 90 new locomotives in 1894. Brooks was not able to recover business as easily and the company was merged with several other manufacturers in 1901 to form the American Locomotive Company. ALCO produced locomotives at this facility until 1934 when the shop was renamed ALCO Thermal Products Division. Locomotives produced at the former Brooks plant after ALCO's formation came to be known as ALCO-Brooks locomotives.

Although new locomotives were no longer being produced at the former Brooks shops in Dunkirk, shop forces were kept busy for some time building spare parts for ALCO locomotives. Production had shifted from locomotives to heat exchangers, high-pressure vessels and pipes of all sizes.

After World War II, production at the Dunkirk plant never got back to its prewar levels. ALCO finally closed the facility in 1962.

  November 11, 1869: Horatio Brooks leases the shops facility in Dunkirk and officially opens the Brooks Locomotive Works
  1883: Brooks locomotives are named the Best in Show locomotives at the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in Chicago.
  February 22, 1884: Brooks completes its 1,000th new locomotive.
  November 30, 1891: Brooks completes its 2,000th new locomotive.
  July 23, 1898: Brooks completes its 3,000th new locomotive.
 1901: Brooks and several other locomotive manufacturers are merged into the American Locomotive Company
 1934: New locomotive construction at the Brooks plant ends as the plant is renamed ALCO Thermal Products Division.
 1962: ALCO closes the former Brooks plant in Dunkirk, laying off the remaining 750 laborers at the facility.

Preserved Brooks locomotives
Brooks Locomotive Works sold locomotives to all of the major railroads of the late 19th century. Following is a partial list (in serial number order) of Brooks-built locomotives that have been spared the scrapper's torch.

Serial number: 494

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: January 1881
Owners: Utah and Northern Railway No. 23, then No. 80; Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Company No. 51
Disposition: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Serial number: 522

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: April 1881
Owner: Klondike Mines Railway No. 1
Disposition: Minto Park, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Serial number: 567

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: August 1881
Owners: Utah and Northern Railway No. 37, then No. 94, White Pass and Yukon Route No. 52
Disposition: Skagway, Alaska.

Serial number: 1535

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: May 1889
Owner: Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad No. 1 Thomas F. Mason
Disposition: Quincy Mine, Hancock, Michigan.

Serial number: 2475

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: October 1894
Owner: Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad No. 3
Disposition: Huckleberry Railroad, Flint, Michigan.

Serial number: 2779

Wheel arrangement: 4-4-2
Build date: 1897
Owners: Bisai Railway No. 1, Nagoya Railroad No. 1
Disposition: Museum Meiji-mura, Inuyama, Aichi, Japan.

Serial number: 2951

Wheel arrangement: 2-8-0
Build date: June 1898
Owners: Colorado and Southern Railway No. 74, Rio Grande Southern Railroad No. 74
Disposition: Central Park, Boulder, Colorado.

Serial number: 3687

Wheel arrangement: 4-6-0
Build date: November 1900
Owners: Wisconsin Central Railway No. 247, to Soo Line Railroad No. 2645
Disposition: Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin

Serial number: 3697

Wheel arrangement: 2-6-0
Build date: December 1900
Owner: Illinois Central Railroad No. 3706
Disposition: Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois

Serial number: 3925

Wheel arrangement: 4-6-0
Build date: July 1901
Owner: New Zealand Railways Department Class Ub No. 17
Disposition: On static display at Waitara, New Zealand. Retrieved from Oamaru Locomotive Dump, 2009.

Serial number: 4062

Wheel arrangement: 2-8-0
Build date: December 1901
Owner: Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway No. 780
Disposition: abandoned in the Maine North Woods following Eagle Lake and West Branch Railroad service.

Serial number: 47764

Wheel arrangement: 2-8-0
Build date: April 1910
Owners: Tooele Valley Railway No. 11 formerly Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad No. 169
Disposition: On static display in Tooele, Utah at the Tooele Valley Railroad Museum, last used in operational service in 1962.

Serial number: 56532

Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0
Build date: December 1916
Owners: Fletcher Granite Company of Westford, MA, last used in 1953, formerly Boston and Maine Railroad No. 444
Disposition: On static display at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds, Dunkirk, NY, 3 miles from where it was built.

See also:

Locomotive Builders

Steam Locomotives