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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Safety First Train: 1917

Safety First Train: 1917

1917. "Baltimore and Ohio Railway. Safety first train." The train, according to newspaper accounts, carried exhibits "informing the public of the careful and effective means that are being taken by the government in the interest of good health, safety and preparedness." Shown here at Union Station in Washington. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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More Double-Heading

If you read my post you'll see that I call it that as well. In the meantime, you might want to look up the word tandem in the dictionary.


When there are two engines on the head end it's called double-heading, not tandem.

More Tandem Engines

Double-heading of steam locomotives was rather common, actually. Getting them started together and running was no harder than it is with diesels or electrics. Problem in those days was that you had to use two engine crews, therefore driving up the labor costs of operation. Things are different now; several diesel locomotives can be controlled by one engineer due to a feature called Multiple Unit Control, known as MUing.

Tandem engines

I don't see many pictures of tandem steam engines. I would think it would be difficult to synchronize their operation- unlike diesels and electrics which can be cabled together for common control.


Gorgeous locomotives! What I would give to be able to step into this photograph...

Baldwin Locomotives

Both locomotives shown were designated as Class P-3 engines by the B&O and are of 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. They were both built at the Baldwin plant in Eddystone, outside of Philadelphia. During Baldwin's lifetime, 1839-1956, the company produced more than 70,000 locomotives; all but a small number were steam engines.

Pacific 4-6-2s

According to this steam locomotive site, these two engines (#5115, #5117) were part of 30 P-3 Pacific class locomotives built for B&O by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1913. The Pacific class 4-6-2 engines were the most common steam locomotives for passenger service in the early 1900s with over 6000 operating in the U.S. and Canada.

No. 5117 was not without safety incidents. On Sept 19, 1919, faulty fasteners caused the ventilator to fall off the back of the cab, injuring one person.

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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