A 1981 visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore yielded this group of locomotives, representing four distinct types of mid-century mainline motive power maunfactured by four different builders.
On the left is Western Maryland F7A 236, built in December, 1952. With its classic EMD bulldog nose, it served the WM well into the Chessie era, being retired in 1979. Before being place in the museum, it was repainted in its as-delivered “Fireball” scheme, which was fairly fresh in this view. In 2002, the 236 was repainted in the WM “speed lettering” scheme.
To the right of WM 236 is streamlined C&O “yellowbelly” 4-6-4 490. Originally built by Alco in 1926 as a 4-6-2, the C&O’s Huntington shops rebuilt the 490 and four sisters as streamlined Hudsons soon after World War II. The 490 was retired in 1953, and came to the museum fifteen years later.
Next to C&O 490, representing conventional steam, is B&O P-7 Pacific 5300. Built by Baldwin in 1927, the 5300 and its 19 identical stable mates were dubbed the “President Class” and named to honor the first 21 US presidents. The engine named “President Adams” represented both John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Class engine 5300 was named “President Washington, and was ultimately retired after forty years of service.
Chicago, South Shore, & South Bend 802, at the right, is one of twenty 2-D+D-2 electrics built by GE for the Soviet Railways. Cold War politics prohibited their delivery to the USSR, stranding them in the US in the same way the Bolshevik Revolution stranded the well-known Russian Decapods in 1917. GE sold three of the huge motors to the South Shore, and five more were exported to Brazil. The remaining dozen were eventually sold to the Milwaukee Road, where the crews referred to them as “Little Joes”, a derisive homage to Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Some web sources claim that the 802 operated until 1983, but it is clearly in the B&O museum in 1981. In the mid-1990’s, the 802 moved on to the Lake Shore Railway Museum.