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Eggerss-O'Flyng: 1938

November 1938. "Railroad and coal yard, Omaha, Nebraska." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

November 1938. "Railroad and coal yard, Omaha, Nebraska." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Not Loafing

Omaha Union Station is just out of the picture at upper right. This is where through trains changed from C&NW to Union Pacific operation. The C&NW Hudson has undoubtedly just cut away from a hot "Overland Route" train, probably the "Challenger", taking the Omaha-bound head end cars with it. The crossovers are a few blocks farther west (to the right and behind the photographer), where the engine & cars will cross over and back into the mail and express tracks. Meanwhile, once the C&NW locomotive has cleared the track, a Union Pacific locomotive will be attached to the train, and the "Challenger" (or whatever train it was) will continue on it's its way west. All of this, including connecting air and steam lines, was done in less than 30 minutes.

Similar, but different

That is a North Western E-4, loafing with a short consist -- humiliating for an engine capable of more than a hundred miles per.

But the orange engines mentioned (more gray than orange, actually) were the similar locomotives owned by the Milwaukee Road. The North Western ones, as seen here, were a deep green with an accent stripe. Each an outstanding example of streamlined steam. Nice photo with much besides going on.

I wondered how long

it would take for someone to zero in on that steam locomotive with the correct description, I believe they may have been painted orange.

Still there

With the original signs still faintly visible.

Good Ol' 4008?

The steamin' streamlined beauty (far right) may well be Chicago & North Western engine #4008.

This Hudson-class E-4 (4-6-4) would be relatively new here, having rolled out of the Alco works at Schenectady in March of '38.

Streamlined Steam

On the far right there appears to be a Chicago and North Western Railway Class E-2a 4-6-2 “Pacific” type locomotive.


Can’t tell you exactly where this is, but going to guess it is a Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha RR yard, because the CStPM&O was a subsidiary of the Chicago & Northwester, and the shovel-nosed engine on the head of that short passenger train on the upper tracks is a C&NW E-4 class locomotive. The cars it is pulling are what Railroader’s called “head end” cars- baggage or (possibly) Railway Post Office cars. Odd seeing a road engine like that on the head of an equipment consist like that without coaches or Pullmans. Usually smaller engines put a train together or took it apart, and road engines like this one came on just for the revenue trip.

Reclining on his yacht in Florida, 1940

A retired Omaha sign painter.

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