In the early years of rail building, a series of lines grew up between New York City, Albany, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, linking the Great Lakes and the Midwest to the Hudson River and the world. Brought together in 1853 as the New York Central Railroad, the line eventually served one-half of America’s population, moving passengers in the northeast between New York, Chicago and Detroit, or from Boston to St. Louis.
Engines and named trains pictured in this edition include:
• New York Central 2946, a Class L-2d Mohawk (4-8-2), is at the Kankakee, IL engine terminal pulling away from the roundhouse on January 9, 1956. It has been serviced and is likely to have been called for a freight to Indianapolis, IN.
• In this frigid scene, New York Central 8043 (American Locomotive Company (ALCO) Model RS-32’s flank an ALCO FA) leads Northbound Train WV-5 with 72 cars of manifest freight at Bear Mountain Park, NY on February 27, 1966.
• New York Central 3130, a Class L-4b Mohawk (4-8-2), is on a westbound freight at Lyons, NY on February 24, 1951. The Lima Locomotive Works built and delivered 25 of these locomotives in 1943. They were the last Mohawks to be purchased by the Central. The smoke lifters (often called elephant ears) were added by the railroad after delivery.
• New York Central 1313, a Class H-5m Mikado (2-8-2), is on a local freight at Auburn, NY on April 29, 1950. This was a home-built locomotive, constructed at the West Albany Shops in 1914.
• It is May 26, 1958 and rail passenger business is still fairly good. Chicago's LaSalle Street Station was a busy place for the New York Central, and, as a result, there were two switch jobs working the depot yard tracks. Both are EMD switchers. The smaller of the two, 665, is a Model SW-1 rated at 600 horsepower and was assigned to move passenger and head-end cars. The larger switcher, 8764, is a model NW-2 with 1,000 horsepower and is working the express car yard.
• This is a pair of New York Central EMD E8A's headed by 4013 is leading Train #6, the eastbound Fifth Avenue Special, out of LaSalle Street Station, Chicago, IL, and passing Roosevelt Road on May 9, 1958. It is noon in Chicago, and this train will reach New York City 's Grand Central Station at 6:50 am the next day.
• Parlor-Lounge Observation Car Wingate Brook is on the rear of Train #26, the eastbound Twentieth Century Limited as it approaches Bear Mountain Bridge, NY on August 3, 1963. In later years, Wingate Brook was a stand-in Observation car; it operated only if either the Hickory Creek or Sandy Creek could not make the trip. But all good things must come to an end. New York Central service quality declined on April 27, 1958 when the Commodore Vanderbilt and the Twentieth Century Limited were consolidated into one train, retaining the Century name. A little more than nine years later, on December 2, 1967, the eastbound Century, running as Train #26, left Chicago for the last time.
• New York Central 875 (an American Locomotive Company Model S3) is passing Spuyten Duyvil, NY with a westbound local freight in August 1963. Purchased in June 1950, 875, a 660 h.p. diesel-electric, was one of 43 S-3's is service; it survived to operate on the Penn Central Roster. Spuyten Duyvil is located 11 miles outside New York City on the main line to Peekskill.
• New York Central 6009 (a Class S-1b Niagara 4-8-4) is leading westbound Mail Train #3 near Waynesport, NY on September 20, 1952. The Central had 25 S-1b’s, numbered 6001 through 6025. They were constructed by the American Locomotive Company in 1945 and 1946. Most were out of service in only eight to ten years as dieselization swept through the country beginning in the late 1940's.
• This is Brightwood Yard at Indianapolis, IN and New York Central 7796 (a Class U-3c (0-8-0) switcher built in 1922 by the American Locomotive Company) sits under the coal dock on October 7, 1956. NYC must have been sold on eight-coupled switchers; they owned 787 of them.
• New York Central 4917, a Class K-5b Pacific (4-6-2) built by the American Locomotive Company in 1926, was streamlined and assigned to the James Whitcomb Riley, which ran between Chicago, IL and Cincinnati, OH. On November 13, 1941, 4917, with its red and white wheels, has been serviced and sits by the roundhouse in Chicago waiting a call.
• New York Central 4095 and 4002 (an EMD E-8A and an E-7A) are rolling along beside the ice-encrusted Hudson River with westbound Train #51, the Empire State Express, on February 27, 1966. The Empire State Express was scheduled to depart from New York's Grand Central Terminal daily at 8:45 am and arrive in Cleveland, OH at 9:15 pm that evening.
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