Railroads & Locomotives History The Mohawk that refused to abdicate

The Mohawk that refused to abdicate

By Trains Staff | November 5, 2023

A hotshot New York Central engineer and a worn but game 4-8-2 forget what year it is

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A black and white photograph from 1956 shows a large, black steam engine crossing another set of railroad tracks set at an angle while black coal smoke flls the sky
In this iconic photograph from the article “The Mohawk that refused to abdicate,” written in the last days of steam on the New York Central, Extra 3005 East behind Class L-3a 4-8-2 No. 3005 is making 60 mph through Shelby, Ohio. Philip R. Hastings

In the mid-1950s, in the waning days of steam on the New York Central, Trains Magazine Editor David P. Morgan and his friend, the accomplished photographer Philip R. Hastings, had a memorable encounter with a NYC Class L-3a 4-8-2 Mohawk in Shelby, Ohio. The Mohawk had seen better days and was assigned to a lowly mixed freight nearly 100 cars long. Just another worn-out steam engine limping painfully along with a long, heavy freight. What happened that day stunned Morgan and Hastings and resulted in one of the finest articles to appear in Trains, “The Mohawk that refused to abdicate” from the September 1956 issue.

Read “The Mohawk that refused to abdicate”

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