This gal doesn't get out much, but if you can coax her out of the house, she'll definitely show you a good time! Spokane, Portland and Seattle #700, a massive E-1 Class, 4-8-4 Northern Locomotive, puts on an impressive demonstration of what a state-of-the-art steam passenger locomotive looked like in the 1940s.
Weighing in at 871,550 lbs with her tender, this 1938-vintage Baldwin product was one of three brand new engines purchased by the SP&S, primarily for passenger service. After a little over 10 years in that role, diesels began replacing these engines, and for the last 7 or 8 years of their service life, they were largely relegated to freight service. The 700 was retired in 1956 and was donated to the City of Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, she then spent two decades as an outdoor, static display. In 1975, a private individual started showing the engine some TLC, and founded the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, to help support preservation and eventual restoration. In 1987, she was moved to the Southern Pacific's Brooklyn Roundhouse and a full restoration was done. She returned to operation in 1990. Today, she is housed at Portland's new Oregon Rail Heritage Center and is operated occasionally on excursions by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association. In this particular photo, she is shown being operated on a local photo charter for Lerro Productions, Inc. At the time of this event, she was the largest active steam locomotive in the US.