Recorded directly from the original Railroad Record Club record album, this CD returns you to the time when steam locomotives still saw service on America’s railroads.
Track 1 Omaha No. 219
It was a dark misty night at Spooner, WI in October 1955. No 219 of the CMO was busily breaking up a freight train that had just arrived from Altoona. The Schenectady built 219, with its sister engine 218, were the only members of the Omaha roads class “Z” consolidations. They were a familiar engine throughout the Midwest through as the parent North Western system had many of the “Zulus” on its roster. As the 2-8-2 Mikados arrived they took over the 2-8-0’s road freight duties, relegating the “Z” class to switching and way freight work.
The heavy order of coal smoke, held down by the moisture, drifted through the murky atmosphere. Somehow a switching operation gives the impression of impatience with its back and forth movement as cars are set out and rearranged. The sound of loose side rods, clanging couplers, squeal of brake rigging and staccato exhausts betray that impatience to “get moving”!
Track 2 Wabash No 576
While the Wabash Railway was converted to 100% diesel operation in the spring of 1955. Until that time, No. 576, a class F-4 2-6-0 (built by Rhode Island & Richmond in 1899, was used in service between Bluffs and Meredosia IL. On February 15, 1955, she was recorded working in the yard at Bluffs prior to her run to Meredosia. Ride along as she switches the yard, makes up her train and then departs on her trip to Meredosia.