SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Erie Railroad Triplex

Erie Railroad Triplex

Matt H. Shay, a rare triplex mallet type locomotive. Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Eddystone, PA, in 1914. Used for drag freight and pusher service over a short section of Erie's main line in northern Pennsylvania. When built she was the largest locomotive in the world, needless to say... View full size.

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Poor fireman

Can you imagine the poor fireman on a hot humid summer day shoveling coal like mad in the roaring hot cab trying to keep the steam up on this baby? No stoker to feed the hungry firebox. Those six cylinders used a lot of steam though it looks like the engine was a mallet and reused some of its steam. As I recall this engine was a bit of a failure--the boiler and the sweating fireman couldn't produce enough steam to run the engine at max power. I think I recall the Erie even tried two firemen without success.


My grandfather used to make Baldwin trains in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. It's nice to look online and find a few to see what they were like. Thanks.

Erie Triplex Locomotive

I have just purchased a model of the Baldwin Locomotive Works Triplex (MTH). What a joy to be able to watch an era of railroading where Steam Was King of the rails. It brings back memories of when I was a child and my grandfather worked on the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad. Thanks for publishing this picture on the Internet! I compared your photo to the model and the model manufacturer did an excellent job of recreating the prototype.


Wow! What a beauty, Imagine the sound of its powerful exhaust when at work, Driving that engine, you would be "King of the road."

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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