Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Night Steam

From my neck of the woods growing up. Clifton and Passaic were the next two towns from Paterson:

Film from the Fox Movietone News outtakes at the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections. This one shows brand-new 4-8-4 No. 1603 on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. Known as Poconos on the Lackawanna, the Q2's handled fast freight as well as passenger trains. Shots include runby's, pacing and from the top of the tender. All sound film. And yes, many DL&W steam locomotives had air horns! Location identification (courtesy of Richard Onorevole): Most of it looks like the Passaic/Clifton area....but they are not chronological..the splicing seems to be out of sequence.... at 2:49 they pass a sign that says " Minwax", which was the furniture stain company in the Delawanna section of Clifton.... at 3:26 they pass the Passaic Station still heading west, at 4:08 passing under the Broadway viaduct. At 4:50 it goes back to the Delawanna section going past the westbound station building and over Delawanna Ave., at 6:20 they pass a sign that says " Falstrom" which is the large factory (still present) on Brook Ave. in Passaic, and then a spur to a coal dock can be seen veering off, the concrete pillars till being visible today at the intersection of Brook Ave and Main Ave in Passaic behind a gas station. At 7:01 they are heading west in the area of the Passaic/Clifton border, just past the Broadway viaduct passing under the Magor Car/Fruehauf footbridge with the Manhattan rubber plant also on the left.


The Lackawanna #1603 Was Big News Back In 1929!

Back in 1929, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad put 20 of these monsters into service between Buffalo, NY, Hoboken, NJ, and New York City.
Known by her nickname as one of the “Poconos” on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, this Q2 class locomotive was designed to pull light fast freight and heavy passenger trains.
The Lackawanna 4-8-4 #1603 was the subject of this press release in 1929 to promote passenger service and could reach speeds up to 100 mph!

Some quick facts about the Lackawanna # 1603

  • Builder: American locomotive works 1929
  • Class: Q-2
  • Wheel arrangement: 4-8-4 “Northern Type”
  • Locomotive and tender weight: 654,000 pounds
  • Length: 100 feet long
  • fuel: coal with mechanical stoker
Her later cousin is Union Pacific’s #844 which is also a 4-8-4 “Northern” wheel arrangement. The 4-8-4 wheel arrangement was first used by the Northern Pacific Railway, hence the “Northern” nickname was used.



  1. Good video. I wonder if you ever saw that locomotive. Glad they mentioned the air horn, I would have been racking my brain trying to figure out what was out of place, an air horn on a steam locomotive.

  2. Probably did, Terry! Lots of coal trains back then! :o)