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During the steam era the Great Northern Railway relied on many different types of steam locomotives to pull it's trains of passengers and freight. Starting out with mostly American-type locomotives, the Great Northern eventually developed a roster of many different types, each best suited for its own type of service. As any other railroad, the GN went through several different axle configurations in search of the best suitable type for its service demands and conditions. At the height of the steam era, this resulted in mighty Northern's and Mountain's hauling mainline passenger trains, with several types of Pacifics pulling local passenger trains. Mainline freight was in the hands of Mikado's, Mallets and 2-10-2's, while Consolidations covered most of the local freight assignments. Great Northern's quest for better and stronger power produced several memorable types, like the bullish Q-2 2-10-2, the strongest 2-8-2 ever; the O-8 , the elegant and fast S-2 4-8-4 and the gigantic R-2 2-8-8-2 power house. Many other types pitched in also, and all helped make the Great Northern what it was; a Great Railway!