This remarkable collection of classic train pictures offers thundering power and great style through more than 50 years of railroading. Those Remarkable Trains range from Nickel Plate Road double-headed 2-8-4 Berkshires and a rare Canadian Pacific 4-4-4 Jubilee to a big Southern Pacific AC-11 Cab Forward 4-8-8-2 and a giant DM&IR Yellowstone 2-8-8-4. Don’t miss the call!
Railroads and engines pictured include:
• Reading Railroad 2120 is stopped at Royersford, PA with a freight in December 1951. Reading had 30 2100-series T-1's on its roster; all were rebuilt between 1945 and 1947 from Class I-10sa 2-8-2 Mikados. By 1957 it looked like diesel purchases had eliminated the need for the T-1's, however, four were set up to lead passenger excursion trains. From 1959 until the last trip in 1964, "Reading Rambles" were a success, sometimes running double-headed with 1,000 passengers. Four T-1's eluded the scrapper, but 2120 seen here, was not one of them.
• Southern Pacific 4274 is on a passenger special near Colfax, CA on December 1, 1957. 4274 is a Class AC-11 Cab Forward (4-8-8-2) locomotive built in 1943 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It was finally removed from the roster in April of 1959. This image shows the last trip made by one of these locomotives. It was also the last time a cab ahead locomotive was used in any service. Only one was saved. 4294 now is on display at the California Railroad Museum. It is worth the trip to the museum just to see this engine.
• Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Mail Train #7 is westbound near Red Oak, IA on March 22, 1958. Mail trains were very profitable for the railroads. For example, if a train included a post office car and seven passenger cars, the railroad was likely to earn more revenue from the mail car than from the seven passenger cars combined. Mail trains operated at passenger train speed, as demonstrated here by 9930A and another E7A.
• Norfolk and Western 125, a streamlined Class K-2 Mountain (4-8-2), is westbound with Mail Train #7 at Bonsack, VA on April 14, 1954. Bonsack is located six miles east of Roanoke.
• It is May 17, 1958, and Canadian National Railway 6147 (a Class u-2-c Northern built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1929), is leading an eastbound freight at Bay View, Ontario, CA, while 3423, a Class S-1-f Mikado built by American Locomotive Works in 1913, waits for the traffic to clear. Shortly, 3423 will be on its way with a westbound local freight. Many American railroads were eliminating steam and moving to diesel power at this time, though the Canadian National continued to use mostly steam on passenger and commuter trains, as well as various transfer, local freight and mainline service. In only a few years, however, steam would be gone.
• New York, Chicago and St Louis Railroad, better known as the Nickel Plate Road, was one of the larger roads to continue steam operations well into the second half of the 1950's. On June 10, 1957, Berkshires 739 and 766 (2-8-4) are double-heading a hot eastbound freight near Valparaiso, IN.
• Boston and Maine 1550 is a Model BL-2 road switcher designed for branch line passenger service. This image shows it on a commuter train at North Station, Boston, MA on July 8, 1955. Boston and Maine purchased four of these locomotives in 1948. They had EMD dependability, but they had no M-U connections, which would allow them to be used in concert with other locomotives. They were limited to commuter and single-engine branch line operations and were rarely photographed.
• Canadian Pacific Railway 2928, a Class F1a Jubilee-type locomotive with a 4-4-4 wheel arrangement, is waiting a call at Toronto, Ontario, CA in July 1955. There were 20 locomotives in this class; 2928 was delivered from the Canadian Locomotive Works in March 1938. These locomotives were only good with light loads. They had large driving wheels and were used only in two- to four-car passenger service, primarily on commuter trains. There was another small class of this type. Five F2a’s had been built and put in service a couple of years earlier. Few other North American railroad built or ordered this wheel arrangement due to its limited abilities. Two survive today. 2928 is on display at the Canadian Railroad Museum at Delson, Quebec, and 2929 is at Steamtown National Historic Site.
• Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range 228, one of their 2-8-8-4 Yellowstones, is doing what it does best, hauling ore jennies, in this view near Proctor, MN on May 27, 1959. DM&IR stabled 18 of these behemoths, operating them in iron ore hauling service through 1959. After their years of service ended, three were saved, one at Proctor, another at Two Harbors, and the third, 227, at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, MN
• It is October 1, 1952, and Western Maryland 842 and 824 (both are 2-8-0 Consolidations; 842 is a Class H-9a and 824 is a Class H-9) lead a long string of empty hopper cars and are headed west, running as the First Section of Train #81 to Elkins, WV, 112 miles away. The locomotive in the background is backing a passenger train across the Potomac River to the Cumberland, MD depot.
• This location is the Mill Rift Bridge just east of Port Jervis, NY. In an awesome show of motive power, Erie-Lackawanna 7024 (An EMD FTA-FTB-FTB-FTA set) is on the point of a westbound freight with 7060, another four-unit EMD set, running as the road power, this time all F3's, on November 12, 1960.
• Colorado and Southern Parlor-Observation Car, Silver Streak, is on the rear of the southbound Texas Zephyr just south of the top of the divide at Palmer Lake, CO in December 1961. Colorado Springs is about one-half-hour ahead.
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