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Photo of the Month - May 2007


200dpi jpg (100K)

Pennsylvania Railroad 2-10-4 class J1a #6495 and #6494 at Worthington, Ohio in 1955.  The PRR had 125 J1's.  What are the chances of two stopping side by side with consecutive numbers?  (Photograph by AJ Campbell)

       I came upon this little drama while doing my usual teenage thing of hanging out at the railroad in Worthington.  What makes this a drama is that neither one of these two are suppose to be sitting were they are.  The J1a on the left is heading a northbound freight train that is stopped, blocking the crossing with the New York Central Railroad.  The NYC had 12 passenger trains a day in 1955, they weren't suppose to be blocked.  That is enough to indicate he has a problem the nature of which I never did learn or don't remember.  Because of the northbound grade, the PRR used a helper engine on heavy coal trains from Grogan Yard in Columbus to Lewis Center .  The engine on the right is a southbound helper engine backing to Grogan Yard in Columbus.  He is returning from Lewis Center where he cut off from a northbound coal drag. 

        Apparently the helper engine stopped to confer with the crew on the stalled northbound train.  Other than some technical advice he would have a hard time connecting to the northbound because it is also sitting on the crossover switch that would have allow the helper access to the northbound track.   To cross over to the northbound track he would now have to go back to Lewis Center.  Whatever is unraveling here it made for a good picture.

        The two engines are sitting about 500 feet north of State Route 161.  The building in the right of the picture was once the PRR depot in Worthington.  Since passenger trains on the Columbus - Sandusky had long left this line in 1930 the building was use by the section gang.  They kept their motor car and tools in the building.  There is a four wheel section flat car to the left of the engines.  The buildings to the far left belonged to the Potter Lumber Company. 

        Notice that both engines have their front couplers in the stored position.  They did this for safety reasons so that if they hit a vehicle there might be a chance it would slide off the front of the engine rather than become impaled on the coupler.

200dpi jpg (101K)

        Another view of two J1's at Worthington with the Potter Lumber Co. in the background.  (Photo by A.J. Campbell)