Bridging the Motive Power Generation Gap

It is almost a requirement that if you are in Bellevue photographing trains that you must visit the streamlined passenger locomotive sitting at the far north end of the property of the Mad River & NKP Museum.

Rusting away on a spur track is former New York Central E8A No. 4070, still wearing its Penn Central markings as No. 4321.

Built in June 1953, the 4070 pulled intercity passenger trains for two decades until Penn Central placed it in commuter service in New York City. New Jersey Transit also briefly operated the locomotive.

For a while, the locomotive sat in Logansport, Ind., before being moved to Bellevue in 1996 on the rear of a Norfolk Southern freight train.

On Friday (May 25), while in Bellevue with Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman, I caught the NS 184 with a CN SD70M-2 in the lead passing the PC 4321 on the adjacent NS Toledo District.

The two locomotives were a few hundred feet apart, but the distance was far wider than that in several other respects.

CN 8885 is an SD70M-2 that is the DC traction version of the SD70Ace. Production of the SD70M-2 began in 2005 and CN has 190 of these units on its roster.

The SD70M-2 prime mover is rated at 4,300 horsepower and the unit has all of the bells and whistles that you would expect a modern locomotive to have.

Both locomotives are EMD products, but the similarities end there.

Still, for one moment in time on a windy Friday afternoon, they bridged the gap of several motive power generations.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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