Howard Fogg's Trains 2019 Calendar
Considered the all-time master of railroading art, Howard Fogg painted the power and majesty of the steel wheel on the steel rail. After railfans discovered Fogg's artistry, he spent the next 50 years as a freelance artist reinventing the steam age. In Howard Fogg's Trains 2019, his paintings live on, commemorating the great age of railroading.
Paintings featured in the 2019 Howard Fogg calendar include:
Pennsy Varnish at Pittsburgh
Howard Fogg received an honorary membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) in 1976, one of many honors bestowed on the painter. As a result, he became a good friend of the president of the BLE, John Sytsma. Mr. Sytsma decided to commission Howard to execute several paintings to be published in calendars produced by and for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Popular subjects were chosen, like this image of Pennsylvania Railroad K-4s Pacific (4-6-2) passing a steel mill in Pittsburgh, PA during a snowstorm. As usual, the paintings were accurate to the last nut and bolt, but the engines used were renumbered to match the year. This change was made at the request of the BLE; there was no Pennsylvania Railroad 1979, at least not a K-4s. Even a painter as obsessed as Howard was with accurate details was allowed a degree of artistic license.
Rio Grande Snow Train at Los Pinos
It is the winter of 1957, and, although Christmas is several weeks away, snow has started to accumulate on Cumbres Pass. The railroad had to move daily shipments of oil from Chama, NM to the Gramps Refinery in Alamosa, CO. The San Juan Basin Oil Boom, still going strong, so drilling supplies, pipe, and drilling mud, lots of it, were being loaded onto narrow-gauge cars at Alamosa, to be transported over Cumbres Pass and on to Farmington, NM, sometimes a trainload a day. The empty freight cars were being returned to Alamosa, often to be reloaded with freight just hours after they had arrived. Throw 5 or six 6 feet of wind-driven snow into the mix and out goes a call for the rotary. In this painting, Rotary OY, a steam-driven plow built in 1923, is doing the heavy lifting. (All Rio Grande maintenance and snow fighting equipment was identified by letters rather than numbers.) Shoving on the rotary are engines 487 and 482. A third locomotive is out of sight about two miles behind; it is bringing up bunk and section cars, track workers and several cabooses. There had to be supplies to take care of as many as twenty enginemen, train crews and section men. Long days, below-zero temperatures, deep snow, equipment problems--it was all in a day's work.
The Pony Express
Union Pacific Northern 807 (4-8-4) is on the point of Train #37, the westbound "Pony Express.” This is the winter of 1940 near Buford, Wyoming on Sherman Hill. The "Pony Express" operated from 1926 until 1954. At this time the train departed Denver, CO at 5:45pm and ran westbound through the night, arriving in Salt Lake City, UT at 7:35am. In later years, it was combined with other trains. Howard painted this watercolor in 1941. It is a little on the "artsy" side, but he was experimenting with different styles, perhaps because he was dealing with an art gallery in New York at the time. He would supply the paintings and the owner would give him half of the price realized. But World War II was just around the corner, and by the end of 1941 Howard had enlisted in the United States Army.
Scenic Limited, Eastbound
It is the early Summer of 1938 and Denver Rio Grande Western 1705 is eastbound with 13 cars. 1704 is a Class M-64 Northern (4-8-4) built in 1929 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It has the "Scenic Limited" in tow and will travel on to Pueblo, CO, then head north for an arrival at Denver’s Union Station. The location of this painting may well be a created one, although it resembles the terrain just east of Salida, CO.
The Great Pumpkin
Great Northern 430-D, an Electro-Motive F7A-F7B-F7B-F7A 6,000 horsepower set delivered in 1948, is on a westbound freight passing through Glacier National Park at Nimrod, MT, where Triple Divide Peak provides a spectacular backdrop. An accurate date for this painting could span a decade or more, but 1955 is a good general time frame. This rail line is owned and operated today by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which took as inspiration for its current engine paint scheme one that Great Northern employed more than 70 years ago. As a point of locomotive horsepower development, if you see four modern Diesel locomotives on a freight, those engines could potentially generate a collective 17,600 horsepower, more than twice the F7 set in this image could generate.
Rio Grande Southern Action at Lizard Head Pass
In the summer of 1951, it is more or less business as usual on the rickety-rack Rio Grande Southern. The Galloping Geese are running, mostly in charter service, what there is of it. There is a weekly train between Ridgway and Durango, CO, the north and south ends of the 162-mile line. If a trip is made without a minor derailment or two, it is deemed a good trip by the crew. The end is coming, everyone knows it, and that encourages management to continue cutting even basic maintenance. In any case, here is this day's action: Leased D&RGW 463, which was a rear-end helper, has cut off and come through the snow shed at the Summit of Lizard Head Pass. It will run light to Rico, followed by 461 with the train, where they will tie up for the night. There will not be much more train action; the last revenue train would run in only a few months.
Alligators in Arizona
At the foot of the San Francisco Peaks, three American Locomotive Company Model RSD-15's, Santa Fe 800, 801 and 802, are the power for a hot eastbound reefer block coming through Cosnino, AZ, 11 rail-miles east of Flagstaff, AZ in the summer of 1959. The RSD-15 was not intended to run urgent freight. The locomotives were used primarily in coal train service. All 50 of these 2,400 horsepower locomotives were renumbered into the 9800 series between 1969 and 1970. They were referred to as "Alligators" because of their rather unique snout-like hoods. The engines proved to be mechanically unreliable, however, and all were off the active roster by 1975.
Mail Train at Stampede Pass
Near Martin, WA, Northern Pacific 2601 is leading a westbound mail train on the approach to the East Portal of Stampede Pass Tunnel in the summer of 1930. 2601 is a Northern (4-8-4), one of a group of the very first locomotives of the design built in 1926 and 1927. Northern Pacific was the first railroad to put the engines into service. Originally referred to as a "Northern Pacific," the name was eventually shortened to "Northern" and that stuck. The Northern Type locomotive was a great success, no matter for which railroad they were built. But the Diesel revolution brought the careers of almost all of them to a premature end.
Milwaukee Road Branch Line Locomotives
Milwaukee Road operated a multitude of branch lines, mainly in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Trains were headed by small, older steam locomotives over light rail with light bridge loadings. In 1946, Milwaukee’s management decided to purchase Diesel locomotives which would gaining all of the economies Diesels offered over steam power, and at the same time be able to operate in branch line service. They turned to the American Locomotive Company which offered their Model RSC-2. In 1946 and 1947, Milwaukee bought 27 of these road switchers. They came with six-wheel trucks that spread out axle loading so they could run on many Milwaukee branch lines. Over time, some were rebuilt and used for different purposes, but Milwaukee Road got their money's worth. The last RSC-2 was removed from service in 1968. And, as you can see, Howard liked to include fishermen in his paintings.
Conway Scenic Railroad
This is a painting without a past, so to speak. The Conway Scenic Railroad is based in Conway, NH. it is a tourist railroad, and one of its routes runs through Crawford Notch where it crosses a spectacular trestle. The scenery is unsurpassed. Howard was commissioned to paint a train led by Conway’s Engine #108, a Prairie Class (2-6-2) locomotive. When he was ill in 1996, Howard passed a group of transparencies to a friend with instructions to use them. The #108, which was included in the images he passed on, is no longer on the Conway’s roster. But it still makes a great piece of artwork.
The San Juan
Denver and Rio Grande Western Class K-36 Mikado 481 (2-8-2) is on the point of the westbound "San Juan" on a late fall day in 1947. This appears to be an imagined scene, but it does resemble the locale around Sublette, NM. The "San Juan" was a daily train operating between Durango and Alamosa, CO. It was placed in service in 1937 and was discontinued in early 1951. The loss of the "San Juan" seemed to be the first step in a plan by the Rio Grande to end as much narrow-gauge service as they could. Their strategy succeeded here, but they had not planned on the San Juan Basin Oil boom, which hit the railroad only a short time after the "San Juan" was gone. This boom saw the railroad hauling unprecedented amounts of freight from its trans-loading point at Alamosa, CO, where freight from standard-gauge cars was transferred into narrow-gauge cars, bound for Ignacio, CO, and Aztec and Farmington, NM. This demand kept the narrow-gauge operating until the end of 1968, when the last train ran.
The San Juan Chili Line Train
Denver and Rio Grande Western 473 and 477 are both Class K-28 Mikado's built by the American Locomotive Company in 1923. This combined train ran double-headed from Alamosa to Antonito, CO, a distance of about 29 miles, where it was divided into two trains. After both locomotives were serviced, 473 would take the "San Juan" on to Durango with five cars, including a baggage car, a railway post office, two coaches and the parlor car. Then 477 would pick up the cars for the Chili Line train to Santa Fe, NM. Frequently there was more freight, but this day there were only two cars. In 1941 the Chili Line was abandoned, and seven Class K-28's (2-8-2) were sent to the White Pass and Yukon Railway to support the war effort. After the war, all were scrapped, including 477, but 473 worked on the Rio Grande for 40 more years, first running the "San Juan," then in freight service, and, finally, on many Silverton Trains. It remains in service today for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.