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Locomotive Makeover: 1942

Locomotive Makeover: 1942

November 1942. "Illinois Central rail yard, Chicago. Locomotives in for repair at the roundhouse." Medium format negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Illinois Central Mountains

The engine is a 4-8-2, commonly known as a "Mountain" type. The railroad had 136 locos of this type, built by ALCo, Lima and the IC's own Paducah shops. I can't be certain but it appears to be one of the ALCo built locos of 1926. The IC never had any 4-8-4s.

Loco ID?

Comparing to other photos of locos, I will guess this is a 4-8-4 Northern type. Perhaps some real rail afficionados will chime in?

Tractor ID

1920's Fordson with French and Hecht wheels and aftermarket high tenstin mag. and probably Handy brand seat.

Minor rebuild

All of the lagging is still on the boiler so they must be checking the boiler tubes and superheater while they rebuild the driver wheels. It's amazing that the inertia of the connecting rods and just breaking can put flat spots on the "tires".

You can corner her here

This is not the round house, because there are no curves. It must be the back shop, where more extensive repairs than ordinary maintenance are done. Sometimes it really is in the rear of the round house.

"Head for the Roundhouse, Nellie. He can't corner you there", doesn't work in this building.

High Overhead

Most fans of steam -- among whom I must number myself -- must acknowledge that the ultimate triumph of diesel-electric units was due to their far less burdensome maintenance requirements in terms of both degree of difficulty and frequency. The real divas were the streamlined steam locomotives, from which many square yards of cladding and fairings had to be removed before anything more advanced than routine preventive maintenance could be performed. That being admitted, there was a romance to steam that diesels have thus far failed utterly to match.

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