After I finished the painting of 5405, I had to give it a title. Thinking about the many times TRAINS Magazine Editor David Morgan and I talked about the “bad old days of railroading” brought to mind the many stories that appeared in RAILROAD MENS MAGAZINE. The fiction of Slippery Buck Anderson and the Engine Picture Kid and many others made me think about situations when train speed would be in a report of happening in the fictional world of railroading. The title “79 mph” seemed just the thing for this 8 foot long acrylic painting. The more I thought about this title, the better I liked it, for maybe it would tell the viewer of this painting just where I came from — a time filled with many snapshots and drawings and artwork of railroading in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So, please enjoy this Kodak color photo of the original painting, and live again those golden days of steam railroading, if only for a few moments.
The 5405 was one of the last of a series of Hudson-type locomotives build by the American Locomotive Company for the New York Central Railroad. 65 L3 and L4 Mohawk-type 4-8-2 locomotives followed the Hudsons in the early 1940’s The final steam locomotives were 27 Niagara-type 4-8-4 locomotives build in the mid 1940’s. Then came the diesels.