Steam’s Lost Empire III


In this Issue

East Broad Top in 1941

Pennsylvania’s last narrow gauge line is innovative, resourceful, and prosperous

The Big Engines

American steam-locomotive design reached its peak in 1937, argues this critic

Right-Hand Man in the Cab

Three trips on the SP demonstrate how the engineer is the key man of any train crew

West Trenton: N.J. Hot Spot

Overshadowed by the Pennsylvania’s electrified corridor a few miles to the south, the Reading’s New York main line bustled with steam-powered variety

Paean to the Pacific

The 4-6-2 was the right engine in the right place at the right time

Four for Eastbound

A fireman on a PRR local freight has his hands full with a crew of “moral underachievers”

Uncle Sam’s Locomotives

The legacy of the controversial USRA and its standardized motive power design

Decapods and Red Clay

Russians and sport models drew the faithful to Georgia short line Gainesville Midland

Railroading in the Blue Mountains

“Hit the injector, you idiot!”

Steam's Lost Empire III Classic Trains Magazine

Paradise lost – and found

Picture it: Orbisonia, 1941. The shop and yard of Pennsylvania’s narrow gauge East Broad Top are humming with activity during William Moedinger’s visit for Trains magazine (see page 6). In 2022 you’ll be able to relive those times with the revived East Broad Top operation. Nonprofit EBT Foundation Inc. expects to have steam-powered passenger trains back on the railroad in 2022 for the first time since it shut down in 2011. This year also marks the 150th since construction on the 33-mile coal-hauling railroad started in 1872. We still love steam, some 60 years after the last mainline fires were dropped in North America. This volume provides a fantastic look back at an important era in railroading. We see the pinnacle of steam locomotive design, according to one renowned historian. David P. Morgan provides a definitive look at the 4-6-2 Pacific type. The legacy of the USRA locomotive designs is examined. And first-person accounts put us in the cab on the Southern Pacific, Pennsy, and Union Pacific. Today, new opportunities to relive steam in 2022 come with U.S. Sugar 4-6-2 148 in South Florida and Western Maryland Scenic 2-6-6-2 1309. And steam preservation stalwarts like Nickel Plate 765, Pere Marquette 1225, and Union Pacific 4014 are still going strong. So, remember steam’s past — and look forward to its future.

We hope you enjoy Steam’s Lost Empire III!