National Pride Locomotives

Ray Sabo photograph

June 14, 1974 was a rather "slow news day" for the Metro Detroit area, so a couple of the TV media outlets used the time to visit the Norfolk & Western facilities in suburban Melvindale to see what the fuss was all about regarding a patriotic-painted diesel locomotive.They were met there by a member of N&W's engineering department and a public relations staffer who were part of the locomotive's complement while it toured the railroad's system. The N&W folks took the time to describe the 3600-hp SD45 and explain why it was selected to be the face of the railroad during the upcoming Bicentennial celebration. Fortunately for those of us who could not sneak out of the office that afternoon, Ray Sabo was on-hand to document the event and share it with others. (R. Craig collection)

N&W's 1776 was not the first locomotive to be painted in a red/white/blue color scheme; that honor belonged to Seaboard Coast Line U36B #1776, which departed GE's Erie Locomotive Plant four years earlier. However, N&W was among the first to recognize the public relations value and saw it as an opportunity to strengthen company pride.

This section includes a two-part roster of Bicentennial-inspired locomotives as well photographs of other diesel and steam locomotives employed to celebrate important U.S and Canadian national events.

Originally uploaded: 10 January 2019


Photo Exhibits

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Freedom Train of 1947

The National Archive photo

Canadian Confederation Train of 1967

William E. Miller photo (William D. Miller collection)

American Freedom Train 1975/76

Doug Lilly photo

Bicentennial Roster (Part I)

John Dziobko, Jr photo


Bicentennial Roster (Part II)

Forrest Brecht photo

Bush Campaign Train of 1992

R. Craig photo

George Bush 41st President

Union Pacific photo

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