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Author

Gil Bennett

Author's books

Great Trains 2025 Wall Calendar

$17.95

In Great Trains Gil Bennett’s paintings capture the power and romance of riding the high iron. Modern steam is represented by a Pennsylvania 4-8-2, Rio Grande’s 4-8-4 and huge 2-8-8-2, plus Union Pacific’s 4-6-6-4. Famous passenger trains are pictured, too: Shasta Daylight, The Mail and Express, Puritan, and Portland Rose. These dramatic paintings are accompanied by historical captions describing each image..

This 2025 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:
≈  Steam in the Valley, Sumpter Valley Railroad, 1943

When the Uintah Railway abandoned its lines in Utah and Colorado, it put its locomotives and rolling stock up for sale. The Sumpter Valley bought their two articulated 2-6-6-2s, numbers 50 and 51. Converted to burn oil, a tender was added and the boiler saddle tanks removed. The locomotives served well hauling tonnage until the road closed in 1947.

Dusk. Union Pacific Railroad, 1974

This was the last helper grade on the Union Pacific as the rails climbed to a point between the Salt Lake and Utah valleys at 4,812 ft. Four SD 45s pull hard on the 9,000-ton train, as three GP 9’s shove hard on the rear, to keep the train at a steady 15 mph.

Kenosha Sunrise, Colorado & Southern Railway, 1935

Two diminutive locomotives, number 8 a 2-6-0 and number 69, a 2-8-0, take a short train up the 4% grade to the 9,576-foot summit of Kenosha Pass. The morning light rests on the 14,264 ft. Mt. Evans and will soon light the valleys and parks on this cold March day. The Colorado & Southern ran from Laurel, Montana to Dallas, Texas and had a narrow-gauge empire that ran from Denver to Baldwin, Colorado.

Morning train to Atchee, Uintah Railway, 1936

The Uintah Railway ran in the high valleys and washes of the Colorado Plateau of western Colorado and Eastern Utah, climbing grades up to 7.5% with tight curves. To battle those grades, the railway ordered two 2-6-6-2T locomotives from Baldwin. Baldwin built number 50 with the idea the steepest grade was only 5%, so the engine shops at Atchee added another steam dome so steam could be gathered from the boiler on the 7.5% grades. When Baldwin built number 51, it came with two steam domes. Here we see number 51 climbing up West Salt Wash Canyon. It has just crossed trestle 22-B heading to Atchee, with three water cars, seven box cars, three stock cars and a combine for passengers.

The Stanford in the Shadow of Mt. Shasta, Southern Pacific Railroad, 1955

In 1955, the SP took observation car 140, named the Sunset, and converted it to a business car, naming it the Stanford, after Leland. The car served the presidents of the Southern Pacific and later Union Pacific until 2022. The car has been refurbished and is in the collection of Railroading Heritage of Midwest America. Here we see Stanford on the rear of the Shasta Daylight as it heads north to Portland. A big AC-5 is running its last miles as it slowly moves up the siding while the passenger train passes. Today, this painting hangs in the car.

A Rose on the River, Union Pacific Railroad, 1946

A late running Portland Rose heads down the Columbia River Gorge on a summer morning. Due in Portland, Oregon at 7:00 a.m., the big 4-6-6-4 hustles down the track at 75 m.p.h. trying to make up for the lost time. The gorge is busy this morning as a barge motors upriver and a Spokane, Portland & Seattle Z-8 4-6-6-4 heads to Wishram, Washington on the other bank.

The Sun is out in Skagway, White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, 2023

White Pass & Yukon 3007 heads up the grades of White Pass. The train started at sea level at Skagway, Alaska and will climb to the 4,501-foot elevation at the top of the pass. The train is twothirds of the way to the top. The majestic Seven Brothers Peaks stand as sentinels in the Saw Tooth Range as a summer storm approaches. The locomotive is an E3000CC-DC narrow gauge diesel electric, sporting 3,300 horsepower, in the Black Mamba paint scheme.

Pennsy’s Perfection, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1956

Just north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, M1 6783, digs into the rails to get her train moving on its way to Erie, PA. The big engine has been pulled from the deadline in Enola and patched up just enough to help move tonnage along the Pennsylvania’s Buffalo line. The locomotive may be old, but it was Pennsy’s finest; just a good locomotive that could pull hard, ride well and run fast.

Autumn Thunder, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, 1946

In 1927, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad took delivery of the L-131 and L-132 class Mallet-type 2-8-8-2 locomotives that held the moniker “world’s largest” for several years. ALCO built the huge locomotives to combat the stiff grades along the D&RGW system. The most challenging pair were Soldier Summit, UT, with a 2.4% grade, and Tennessee Pass, CO, with a 3.3% grade. This is L-132 3612 as it grinds up Tennessee Pass at a steady 12 m.p.h., while back in the train, another 2-8-8-2 and a 4-8-2 shove hard to lift the train up to the 10,221-foot summit.

The War Horse, Denver & Rio Grande Western, 1943

On a cool late afternoon, a MAIN train heads up the Soldier Summit grade. In charge is 1706, one of Rio Grande’s M-64 4-8-4s. It’s war time and motive power is tight and traffic heavy. The Rio Grande didn’t have any scheduled passenger trains through this area until later in the evening, however MAIN, or troop trains, could show up on the line at any time as they hustled the American boys off to war.

Hot Mail, Pennsylvania Railroad, 1956

Late November snow has coated Pennsylvania and the east. Train 85, The Mail and Express, is running on schedule as it skirts the Juniata
River. Up front, 8607, a new RSD7 heads two Pennsylvania passenger units and a long train of mail and express cars.

Rush of the Puritan, New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, 1944

It’s a snowy winter afternoon as New Haven locomotives 0716 and 0719 speed north to Boston with the Puritan. During the first year of World War II, the New Haven Railroad received twenty DL-109 diesel electric locomotives from ALCO. The 2,000h.p. units (A1A-A1A) were built for service on passenger as well as freight trains and arrived at the perfect time to help the power-short railroad.

 

 

Published by Tide-mark Press © 2024

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