I'm not sure the blue geese are really so rare (ask your local poultry keeper if you're curious) but this big bird is unique.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 Hudson type steam locomotives built in 1937 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for service between La Junta, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois, a fairly flat division of the railroad suited for the 4-6-4 type. They were substantially larger than the road's earlier 3450 class locomotives, and all were built oil-fired, although in a manner that would allow for easy conversion to coal firing.
(Photo via funsky1 @ Flickr)
They had much in common with the Milwaukee Road's class F7 and the Chicago and North Western Railway's class E-4, all three types being fast, 84-inch drivered 4-6-4s for Midwestern service with 300 lb/in² boiler pressures.
The first locomotive, #3460, was built streamlined; painted light, robin's egg blue and silver, it became known as the Blue Goose. It was the Santa Fe's only streamlined steam locomotive, featuring extensively in railroad publicity and was a railfan favorite. (Source: Wikipedia).
The Goose stayed in Santa Fe service until 1956. I don't know if it retained its streamline shrouding. The reason for its one-of-a-kind status is simple: in late 1930s AT&SF has been extensively dieselized, the management clearly preferred "new power" over the "old" one. So the 3460 was really a swan song of Santa Fe steam.
(Artwork: Michael Boss)
The Blue Goose images are scarce. Some prints are sold on eBay but you can still get a pair of good pictures for free. Here are two from the Kansas Memory website:
This picture is borrowed from Brasstrains.com. The Blue Goose is quite popular with the miniature railway fandom, the models are widely advertised, there is even a catalog:
That's all for today... Gosh, 37 columns! When I started this Sunday Streamline business I planned it for half a year, 25-26 issues. And now I see a lot of streamliners ahead. We haven't been to Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey yet, Czechoslovakia and Australia are worth a second visit, Argentina and Canada are waiting patiently, as well as la belle France. There will be at least 20 new chapters in this story - if you're not bored, of course. Have a nice Sunday!
Headline picture: Bud Laws @ Railfan.net