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Photo of the Month - September 2007


pdf file - B&O 133

Steam powered Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Train #238 just east of Columbus Union Station headed for Newark on the shared B&O/PRR Pan Handle Line.  B&O switcher #579 is to the left and a PRR freight with a string of refrigerator cars is just pulling onto the track to the right of the passenger train.  (Photo by Donald A. Kaiser, February 1955) 

        This picture always seems a little sad to me.  I think because I would really have liked to ride this train, which I never did.  The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was the first of the five class I railroads, serving Columbus Union Station, to eliminate all passenger train service through Columbus.  #238 and the westbound #233 were Pittsburgh - Cincinnati trains.  In 1954 they took over 9 hours to  make that 323 mile trip which may account, in part, for the small number of riders requiring only a two car train.  

        Cold days made for some great picture taking, if the photographer held up and the shutter didn't freeze.  The escaping steam would stay visible as white vapor longer giving a dramatic dimension to the picture.  Since the used steam from the cylinders exhausted through the smoke stack, the plume of exhaust from a hard working steam locomotive on a cold day could be visible from far off. Of course if the locomotive had steam leaks they would be more evident in cold weather as well. Railroaders will also tell you there is no place colder than a railroad yard in winter with a stiff wind funneled through the lines of parked railroad cars.

        Some of the towns served by #238 in Ohio: Cincinnati, Midland City, Washington C.H., Columbus, Newark, Zanesville, Cambridge, Bellaire; in West Virginia: Benwood Junction, Wheeling; and in Pennsylvania: Washington, and finally Pittsburgh.