Gil Bennett

Author's books

Great Trains 2024 Wall Calendar


In Great Trains 2024 the power and romance of the rails is captured through the paintings of Gil Bennett. There are paintings of classic passenger trains of the past, along with locomotives that moved freight and goods across this land. From the diminutive 2-4-4T of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad to Union Pacific’s big 4-6-6-4 Challenger, trains from coast to coast are depicted with historical details about the railroads and trains pictured.

This 2024 monthly wall calendar features: Large blocks for notes | Superb printing quality | Heavy 100-pound paper | Deluxe 11- by 14-inch size

Locomotives and trains featured in this edition include:
• In 1937, the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad ordered five 4-8-4 locomotives from the Baldwin Locomotive Works for fast freight and passenger service. Being a “Southern” railroad, they called these Generals instead of the regular moniker of “Northern.”
• On February 12, 1909, a light snow started that ended up dumping six feet of snow on the western slope of Cumbres Pass. This closed the Denver & Rio Grande line over the pass and stranded several trains. The railroad had two rotary snowplows, OM and ON, but a mild winter was forecast, so OM was sent to Denver to be rebuilt. ON was clearing the line over Marshall Pass.
• A light snow falls as Union Pacific Challenger 3989 heads up the 1.7% grade out of Ogden, Utah in 1948. Challenger 3989 is headed against an east wind as it struggles up the steep grade at 12 mph. Back at the end of the train, a big 2-10-2 pushes to keep the train moving.
• Western Pacific 901A is at the top of Silver Zone Pass. Snow-covered Pilot Peak is in the back on the Utah–Nevada border.
• Here Union Pacific GP30 718, GP30B 731, and GP30 817 take the local back to Ogden on a cool day in May.
• Every week during World War II,
the Logan High marching band and well wishers would send off sailors, soldiers, and airmen. The Utah-Idaho Central station at Logan, Utah, was filled with the crowds that would spill out into the street. UIC train 206 would depart at 11:35 a.m. with mail, passengers, and the newly drafted kids, heading off to meet trains in Ogden.
• To run their freight trains, the road ordered eighty large 2-8-4 Berkshires from ALCO and Lima Locomotive works. These locomotives would regularly handle freight trains at speeds over 60 mph for an enviable on time performance.To keep trains moving, even coal and ore trains would run at 45 to 50 mph, as seen here. Berkshire 761 accelerates its ore train out of a small town in Ohio on a warm summer morning.
• Here we see the Hooterville Cannon Ball stopped at the Shady Rest Hotel water stop with Betty Jo in the cab talking to Earl of Petticoat Junction. The locomotive, Sierra number 3, is a Rogers 4-6-0 built in 1891. It still runs today.
• Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad locomotive #8, a Mason Machine Works Bogie, pulls a train into East Boston in 1906. This was once the most heavily traveled passenger line in the United States.
• Denver & Rio Grande locomotive 361, a C-21, and 454, a K-27, help the road engine 456, a K-27, move a loaded twenty-car stock train up Cerro Summit in western Colorado in 1947.
• Altoona was the main shop and locomotive complex of the Pennsylvania Railroad, building cars and steam and electric
locomotives. The busy line through town saw more than 200 freight and passenger trains and helper movements daily. All passenger trains would get a helper to climb up the grade west of town, and freights would get both a helper on the front and pushers on the rear to move tonnage up the mountain. Here 6459, a 2-10-4 J1a, and 4587, an I1sa 2-10-0, shove hard on the back of a heavy freight train as it blasts past the tower at Slope.
• The shrill cry of a whistle reverberates against the crystal-trimmed depot at Elkhorn, Nebraska, as a frosty Union Pacific 2-10-2 and 4-12-2 hustle tonnage westward on Christmas Day, 1951. Clear exhaust forms a white muffler for the charging steamers as helper engine 5057 and road engine 9504 head southeast in the sub-zero morning.

Published by Tide-mark Press © 2023