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Modeler's Moment - Happy 999 day!

999 at the Chicago museum

Today is the 115th anniversary of the record-breaking run of New York Central's Empire State Express. On September 14, 1891, the Empire State Express, pulled by 4-4-0 locomotive number 999, ran from New York City to Buffalo, a distance of 436 miles, in 7 hours and 6 minutes, an average of 65 mph. Officially, the train's top speed was 82 mph, but unofficial reports put the top speed as high as 112 mph. 999 is preserved on static display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Modeler's Moment - Pioneer Zephyr

Pioneer Zephyr, observation end

On this date (May 26) in history, the Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr made its famous "dawn-to-dusk" non-stop run from Denver to Chicago in 1934 at an average speed of 77 mph; the trainset was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on May 26, 1960, and it can still be seen there today.

Modeler's Moment - Happy Golden Spike Day!

Golden Spike ceremony

It was 137 years ago today that a telegraph operator clicked his key in time with a spike hammer to signal the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. The famed Golden Spike was driven on May 10, 1869, at Promontory, Utah, after which, Andrew J. Russell took this well known photo.

Modeler's Moment - Happy birthday, Amtrak!

Amtrak in Indiana

Going by the date of first operations, Amtrak is 35 years old today. Amtrak began operations of most intercity US passenger trains on May 1, 1971. This photo is one I took of a Michigan-bound train from Chicago while I was on a railfanning trip to Porter, Indiana, in 1993.

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