The Late, Great New York Central Railroad In Pictures


We are sharing several New York Central Railroad pictures sent by Wayne Koch.

The feature image at the top is famous locomotive 999. Picture taken at the 1948 Chicago Rail Fair by Ed Nowak. From the J. David Ingles Collection.

The 999 Steam Locomotive was a new concept in speed locomotives. Engine 999 was assigned to haul the New York Central Railroad’s brilliant new passenger train, the Empire State Express. On May 10, 1893, the 999 became the fastest land vehicle when it reached a record speed of 112.5 mph. The 999 maintained the record for a decade.

Designed by William Buchanan and manufactured by the New York Central Railroad in West Albany, New York in 1893, the 999 was commissioned to haul the Empire State Express, which ran from Syracuse to Buffalo. This relatively smooth run and the 999’s cutting-edge design gave the new locomotive an opportunity to make history.

20th CENTURY LIMITED AT CHICAGO
20th CENTURY LIMITED AT CHICAGO

20th CENTURY LIMITED AT CHICAGO. Picture taken by Ed Nowak. From the J. David Ingles Collection.

The 20th Century Limited was an express passenger train on the New York Central Railroad (NYC) from 1902 to 1967, advertised as “The Most Famous Train in the World”. In the year of its last run, The New York Times said that it “…was known to railroad buffs for 65 years as the world’s greatest train”. The train traveled between Grand Central Terminal (GCT) in New York City and LaSalle Street Station in Chicago, Illinois, along the railroad’s “Water Level Route”.

1985-03
Next is Niagara 6022 at Buffalo, NY. 1949. Photo by William W. Renn

In 1945, the Equipment Engineering Department of the New York Central Railroad developed and Alco (American Locomotive Company) in Schenectady, NY executed a locomotive design which had a marked impact on the steam locomotives to follow, and on the traditional measurements by which motive power would be evaluated. This locomotive was so significant that its performance is still discussed by the men who design and run locomotives. The locomotive was the New York Central class S1 4-8-4 Niagara.

Cleveland Union Terminal eecttric locomotives
Cleveland Union Terminal electric locomotives

These huge electric locomotives originally served the Cleveland Union Terminal then were moved to Harmon, NY to handle traffic in and out of Grand Central Terminal.

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