A Contrast of Generations and Purposes

ns-bellevue-june-11-x

One in a periodic series of images that I made last summer

Contrast always makes for an interesting image. It could be contrast of any number of things such as light and dark, large and small, short and tall.

The contrast between Norfolk Southern ES44AC No. 8055 and this former Penn Central E8A No. 4321 could not be much wider.

New versus old, still working versus retired, still wanted versus neglected, good condition versus derelict . . . the list goes on.

Let’s not forget that one engine was built to haul freight and the other was built to haul passengers.

One wound up in a museum and the other probably will one day find itself in a scrap yard.

The Penn Central Historical Society reports that No. 4321 was built for the New York Central as No. 4070, a number that should be familiar to those living in Northeast Ohio.

It worked for Penn Central and, for a time, New Jersey Transit. Since being retired from active service, the 4321 has sat in Logansport, Indiana, and now sits at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

Because of its position next to the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern the 4321 has appeared in countless photographs and may be as photographed as much as about anything else in the museum’s collection.

How much longer the 4321 can continue to sit rusting away without receiving even a minor cosmetic restoration is anyone’s guess.

As for the NS 8055, it was built in January 2011 so it has many years of service ahead of it. Who knows when and where I’ll see it again, but for now I know where I can find the 4321.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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