Destination Des Moines
A Chicago and North Western 4-4-2 Atlantic simmers in the crisp wintry air as it pauses at a rural Midwestern depot. In 1900, the Schenectady Locomotive Works built six of these 4-4-2 Class D Atlantics for the C&NW. The new locomotives created a sensation in the railroad world for their abilty to provide high-speed service to premium passenger trains on the C&NW’s portion of the Overland Route. These locomotives were so successful, the C&NW eventually purchased a total of 91 of them. The Atlantics were noted for their 81-inch drivers, which attained considerably higher speeds than conventional locomotives of that era. During the next forty years, these locomotives provided reliable mainline service until their final days, when they were bumped to less glamorous duty on branch line and Chicago suburban service.
            © Stewart S. Buck