Norfolk & Western's fleet of steam locomotives and the facilities to maintain them were sources of pride for the railway. One of the N&W's most famous publicity photos is this view at Shaffer's Crossing in Roanoke, in the early evening of September 29, 1943, taken by company photographer Bryan Beard. Beard also arranged the photo, coordinating schedules and lighting. At least 50 locomotives of a variety of classes are pictured. Beard stood atop the coal wharf (modern coaling tower that provided the locomotives with fuel) looking east. The lubritoriums (greasing facilities) are the two lighted buildings on the left and right. Foreground locomotives, from left, are Y6a 2145 (inside); Class A 1206; Y6a 2137, 2125, and 2129; a streamlined Class J 601 (sticking its nose out on the right hand), and M2 No. 1132 (parked next to the building). This is one shot in a series of sixteen day and night views illustrating the zenith of steam power. At the peak, U.S. railroads operated 60,000 steam locomotives.
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