Passing Stair Tower. A Southern Railway local freight receives orders as she passes Stair Tower in the yard at Monticello on a spring evening. The power tonight is Southern Railway #401, an 82-ton Baldwin H-4 Class Consolidation Locomotive, built in Philadelphia in 1907.
The operation pictured here is a photo freight, operated by the Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, IL. for Southern Rail Productions. Locomotive 401 served Southern Railway for 42 years before being put out to pasture in 1949. She was picked up by Alabama Asphaltic Limestone Company in Margerum, AL, where she switched hopper cars for another 14 years before finally retiring from revenue service in 1965. Two years later, she was acquired by the the museum, and eventually brought to Monticello in 1971, where she became a static display. In 1995, a generous donor stepped forward and proposed restoring a steam engine for the museum to operate. Southern 401 was chosen, but it would be another 15 years before she would turn a wheel. The locomotive received a brand new boiler and numerous components were completely rebuilt, including the tender. Today, she runs in excursion service at the Museum in Monticello. Originally a coal-burner, she's set up to burn waste oil today. The interlocking tower pictured in this photo is a replica, but the interlocking machinery inside is actual, historic hardware salvaged from two different locations.
From a "hint" of "Bee" (NKP 765), colorful "Bees" (KCS), "Bees" w/ attitude, to "Bees" that "sting" your eyes, in their own way they have "Bee" on display! Equipment that "Buzzes" wearing Yellow & Black! ("Bees" can still "Bee" entering this "hive"!)
An ongoing/growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome, but seldom seen beauty of railroads because most of us don't go out after sundown or before sunrise. From dusk to dawn, lights are on! (And I continue to find new "Lights In The Night"!)