Length (24 ft 6 in); Height (11 ft 2.5 in); Width (7 ft 11 in)
The Pioneer is the oldest surviving engine made by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and was Chicago's first locomotive, purchased in upstate New York and shipped by frigate to Chicago.
The Pioneer marks the beginning of the railroads often credited to the building of Chicago, making the city a hub of economic activity and connecting it to eastern and western counterparts. This Pioneer, the oldest surviving engine made by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, features a 4-2-0 type engine, which allowed the leading wheels to swivel, improving the engine's ability to navigate uneven terrain and roughly built tracks at an average of sixteen miles per hour. The locomotive was used to build the first line of track for the Galena and Chicago Union Railway, the city's first railroad company, which began operations in 1848 .The establishment of the Galena and Chicago Union Railway, was quickly followed by competing railroad companies, which enabled the growth of Chicago's meat packing and grain marketing industries. In the years that followed, Chicago became an important center of national freight-rail traffic.