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Highlights of 1964

Somebody's Large Digital Image Here

The "General" ex-Western & Atlantic RR, with coach at Woodside Station, eastbound to NY World's Fair 05/30/1964. LIRR History (Archive: Dave Keller)

DT&I AND THE "ANNIE - (January) - Detroit Toledo & Ironton took formal control of the Ann Arbor RR. The DT&I, a long-time loyal EMD customer, then retired AA's entire fleet of Alco-built locomotives (15 freight cabs and two RS1s; four of the Alco FA cab units were sold to AA parent Wabash. Additionally an order for Alco C420s was cancelled. Their initial replacements were LaGrange-built GP35s sans dynamic braking, followed by GP38s with D/B. (R. Craig photo)

KRAUSS-MAFFEI HYDRAULICS - (February) - Denver & Rio Grande Western sold its three "experimental" ML 4000 cab units to SP. The Espee, pleased with its three similarly designed hydraulics, took delivery of 15 additional MK 4000-hp hood-type units during May. The German-built hydraulics had the proven ability to haul more freight, faster. However, all 21 KMs were retired by the close of 1968 because of mechanical trouble. (Drew Jacksich photo)

WORLD'S FAIR & LIRR - (April) - The 18-month World's Fair gave "host" railroad, Long Island, an opportunity to showcase its new Alco C420s. LIRR also took the occasion to gets its name in front of the 51 million visitors by assembling a small exhibit of what be might be called a sign of things to come - Power Control Cabs built from FAs. Interestingly, one number-board had 1964, and the other board read 1834 (the date the railroad was charter). (J.W. Swanberg photo)

DOUBLE-DIESEL CRAZE - (May) - By Summer, the horsepower race was at full stride, with all 3 major locomotive builders vying for the affection of western railroads, Espee and UPRR. While the twin-engine DD35/DD35A (EMD) and U50 GE) were logging sales, Alco and its C855 were running fifth in a three horse race. The GEs and Alcos rode on four two-axle trucks in contrast to the EMDs' pair of four-motor trucks. (George Cockle photo / R. Craig collection)

THE "GENERAL" - (May) - Restored American-type 4-4-0 steam engine toured several major cities during the year, including a stop at the World's Fair. Built by Rogers Locomotive Works in 1855 as Western & Atlantic #3, the historic steamer had been made famous by its role in the "Great Locomotive Chase" which occurred during the Civil War. (Bob Chesarek photo)

CTA'S NEW CARS - (May) - Chicago "L" riders (elevated railway) got their first chance to ride the Transit Authority's new passenger cars built by Pullman-Standard. The modern "2000 series" replaced the rail line's early 20th-century cars, which were spending more time in the repair shop than in revenue service. (Chuck Zeiler photo)

SOUTHERN RR 4501 - (June) - Built in 1911, the 2-8-2 "Mikado" was restored in 1964 and became North America's quintessential steam-excursion locomotive for the next 58 years The majestic Baldwin hauled hundreds of thousands of passengers in Eastern and Midwestern states during that period. The steamer is one of the few locomotives to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Vince Colombo photo)

GENERAL ELECTRIC U-BOATS - (September) - When shiny Chinese red & white Chicago Burlington and Quincy U25Bs rolled through LaGrange Illinois the very first time, sirens and red-flashing lights probably went-off at the nearby EMD headquarters. Since the earliest days of diesels, only EMD-built locomotives had powered CB&Q freight and passenger trains. (Frank Christoph photo / Paul Rome collection)

ALCO'S DIESEL HYDRAULIC - (September) - The Century 643 was the only large diesel locomotive built in the United States driven by a hydraulic transmission; total production was three units all going to the SP. The dual-engine locos were powered by Alco 2150-hp 251C power-plants connected to a Voith transmission produced in Germany. During their tenure on the Espee, the Alcos carried three different series of road numbers: 9018-9020 > 9150-9152 > 9801-9803. (Keith Ardinger photo)

WABASH / NKP/ N&W MERGER - (October) - One of the most important news stories of the year was Wabash+NKP+N&W merger (which also included Pittsburgh & West Virgina and Akron, Canton & Youngstown). The merger gave coal-hauler N&W direct access to new major markets, and generated lucrative automotive and intermodal revenues. By the close of the 20th Century, traffic denisty on the old NKP and Wabash corridors were pegged both at more than 50 million gross tons annually. (R. Craig photo)

ROCK ISLAND'S PROFITABILITY - (December) - The granger railroad had reached a zenith; its balance sheet for the 12-months was black. While the news may not seem notable, it was the last time the railroad ever earned a profit. Interestingly in-spite of a weak financial position, the Rock remained in business for another 16 years. (Bob Anderson photo)

RUSSIAN GRAIN - (December) - Russia's government agreed to purchase a half-billion dollars** of Canadian wheat. The economic agreement was a shot in the proverbial arm of Canada's two major railroads. The increase in traffic required CN an CP to ask several U.S. railroads (B&LE, B&M, Soo and UPRR) for locomotive help during 1964/65. (Doug Hately photo)

** The $500 miilion spent in 1964 (above) would be equivalent to $4.6 Biillion today, based on an annual inflation rate of 3.7 percent.

Book/Magazine Reference Sources:

  • Alco's FA: Running in the Shadow by R. Craig Rutherford
  • Southern Pacific Motive Power Annual (1968-69) by Joseph A. Strapac
  • Trains Magazine: November 1964
  • Union Pacific Locomotives by Don Strack

Photo Reference sources:

  • Flickr
  • Loco Photos
  • Rail Pictures Net
  • RR Pictures Archives
New: 1 May 2022 Formatted by: R. Craig

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