Posts Tagged ‘Penn Central E8A 4321’

A Contrast of Generations and Purposes

November 22, 2016


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

Rust Never Sleeps

December 3, 2014


PCe8bellevue03 PC4321noses

Abandoned or neglected, the end result is often the same.

This former Penn Central E8 (No. 4321) has resided next to the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern in Bellevue, Ohio, for well over 10 years.

Like a cicada that has shed its shell, this unit is a ghost of its former self, the empty engine-less hollow skin of a once sleek machine.

Not everything can be saved, but it is sad to contemplate the fate of this survivor of EMD’s streamline design. Somehow the tattered remains of the Penn Central logos seem fitting.

After someone had remarked that this unit spent some time on the New Jersey Transit, a light went on and I remembered I had shot a double logo PC unit over in Elizabethport, N.J., back in the early ‘80s.

Could it have been this same engine? I located the slide in short order, a nose shot to highlight that “double mating worm” logo.

So attached is a “then and now” of a junk E unit, Aug. 17, 1981, and Nov. 28, 2014, of Penn Central 4321.

It’s an often photographed gutless relic that started life as a shiny New York Central E unit, but it’s good to know the missing guts helped return two other E units into running machines.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee