Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cool Chromes - Switching Around

Cool Chromes is a semi-regular feature where we look at slides that have recently passed through the scanner.

New York, Susquehanna & Western; Little Ferry, N.J.; August 1988
Today's edition of Cool Chromes celebrates the lowly switcher, the workhorse of the railroad. We'll start things off with an NW2 built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in June 1948 (above). This engine originally ran for the New York, Ontario & Western, which was abandoned in the late 1950s. The locomotive subsequently became the property of the New York, Susquehanna & Western, which painted in back into the NYO&W colors. It is seen here at the Susie-Q's now-gone engine facility at Little Ferry, N.J., in August 1988 during a night photo session for the convention of the National Railway Historical Society.

Elgin, Joliet & Eastern; Joliet, Ill.; October 1990
Next up is a pair of SW1200s, also products of EMD, working for the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern. No. 322 was built in June 1964 for Kansas City Terminal while No. 300 was built in June 1960 for the EJ&E. We see them switching in front of the EJ&E shops in Joliet, Ill., in October 1990.

Harvest States; Superior, Wisc.; September 1991
Our third chrome features at least two SW1s (also from EMD) working the Harvest States mill along Lake Michigan in Superior, Wisc. No. 15 was built in December 1941 and began its life working down south for the Louisville & Nashville. In the background is No. 200, built im March 1953 for the Portland Railroad & Terminal Division in Oregon.

Potomac Electric; Alexandria, Va.; September 1979
We'll finish off with an unusual locomotive. Potomac Electric Company used a steam locomotive to switch its Alexandria, Va., facility until late 1979. No. 43 was built by Heilser in 1938 and is a "fireless cooker" -- it burns no fuel of its own, but instead would plug into the power plant's steam line for a charge of steam that would keep it running for a couple of hours. We see it here in September 1979 during a tour for the NRHS Convention. No. 43 would be retired shortly thereafter and now resides in the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

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