Here comes the Revolution…


It’s a quiet Saturday in Binghamton, NY; a local railfan is roaming the Delaware & Hudson yards with his camera, and is intrigued by three new diesel locomotives among all the D&H steam power.  Five days ago, on Monday November 13, 1939, Electro-Motive Corporation released these 600-horsepower switchers from their new plant in the cornfields west of Chicago, at LaGrange, Illinois.  EMC’s soon-to-be-famous Model 567 Diesel engines are inside those glossy black hoods, the first of that model to cross the Hudson River and enter New England.

Stacks covered and engines quiet, they are bound for the Boston & Maine Railroad and will be handed over at Mechanicville, NY by the D&H within hours of Mr. Humphrey’s picture.  B&M 1109, 1110 and 1111, the three sisters, will serve as passenger train switchers at Boston’s North Station until 1959, and will go on to have an after-life on two New England shortline railroads.  1109 and 1110 eventually will be preserved by Railroad Museum of New England.  On this quiet Saturday, they are the advance troops of the Diesel Revolution, ready to kill off the majestic steam power that rules the rails this November day.  Within 14 years, they will have triumphed in New England and the Northeast.

This small print was discovered in a batch of prints obtained at an auction by RMNE’s Al Galanty.  The EMC builder number for 1109 is actually 912; the “#192” on the back of the print is a typo.

—Howard Pincus

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