Strasburg's own "Queen of Steam." The Strasburg Rail Road's regular, hourly passenger train hustles past the photo line at the 2019 "Reunion of Steam" event, with the former Great Western Decapod #90 in charge. She's perhaps 100 yards east of the crossing at Carpenters, but given the blind nature of that crossing, she's already sounding a powerful warning to the motorists and Amish buggies that might be on Black Horse Road.
Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1924 for Colorado's Great Western Railway, this engine made its living for over 4 decades hauling sugar beets on the flatland east of the Rockies. In the early 1960s, when the locomotive saw occasional excursion service, she came to the attention of J. Huber Leath, the Chief Mechanical Officer of the Strasburg Rail Road, who was very much interested in acquiring a locomotive much larger than anything he had in his stable at the time. A deal was worked out to give the Strasburg first dibs when the engine was finally retired, and in 1967, that deal came to fruition. She's been the primary power on this line ever since. With 48,960 lbs of tractive effort, she's been the largest locomotive to run here until Norfolk & Western J-Class #611 visited in late 2019. She's now run in Pennsylvania far longer than she ever did in Colorado. A few years back a Strasburg official estimated that #90 had run roughly 340,000 miles, since coming to Pennsylvania. Figure she went to the moon and part way back.....nine miles at a time.