Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shenandoah Valley Railroad Locomotive 40

Staunton, Virginia 

Bear with me for just one more locomotive photograph from my visit to Staunton last week. This EMD GP9 was built in August 1955 as Chesapeake and Ohio 5940. It went through several owners over the years, and is now in active service for the Shenandoah Valley Railroad.

I was barely a teenager when the last steam locomotives were taken out of service in the United States and many of those were replaced by EMD GP7s and GP9s in the 1950s. The opportunity to photograph working steam is long past but there are still early diesels in service along many regional and short line railroads around the country.

At some time in the future, the opportunity to photograph these will be gone, just as the opportunity to photograph steam locomotives is gone today. Photographers will look back and wish they had been around when diesel locomotives built in the 1940s and 50s were still in service. It is a rare opportunity to photograph a part of railroad history before it becomes another museum exhibit.


  1. I've been enjoying your posts of these locomotives this week. You can't post too many of these, in my opinion. You can still find some steam locomotives around, but they are rare. I find it interesting that now these "older diesel" locomotives look rather nostalgic. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Ed. Yes, these old diesels are starting to look nostalgic--it is easy to forget that they are nearly 50 years old. I am a bit nostalgic for a lot of things that were around 50 years ago.

    1. I know how you feel. I guess it comes with all wisdom and experience we've acquired through the years.

    2. At least up to the point where that wisdom and experience is overcome by forgetfulness ;)


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