CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Sunday, April 23, 2023

D&H's 200th Birthday! (April 23, 2023)

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Corporation which, on April 23, 1823, was incorporated under New York State law. In 1973, to commerate the D&H's Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary), then President Carl Bruce Sterzing organized several celebratory events. Some of them included fan trips pulled by steam locomotives over the line.

Unfortunately, all of the D&H steamers had long-since been retired for over 20 years. So, he got creative and leased an ex-Canadian Pacific hudson (#1278) from the Steamtown collection in nearby Bellows Falls, Vermont. It was loaned to the D&H and repainted as D&H #653. While purists knew it wasn't a correct D&H locomotive, many people didn't care and were just thrilled that steam had returned to the Bridge Line. 

But one engine wasn't enough, so Bruce looked around for another engine and cast his eyes on the the larger northern operating as Reading Rambler #2101. It was then modified by D&H forces by rebuilding the smokebox front, adding smoke deflectors and marker lights, and finally repainted as D&H #302. 

These engines pulled several trips along various portions of the D&H throughout April and May of 1973, and perhaps longer. However, eventually the engines were returned to their owners and returned to their original appearance.

When I started collecting D&H slides around 2012 or so, I specifically looked for interesting shots of these two engines. I don't claim that these are the best shots but I am happy to have them in my collection. Information on each slide is shown above the image.

D&H RS11 #5001 and D&H #653 at Colonie, NY on April 28, 1973

Another shot taken on April 28, 1973.

D&H #653 traveling light through Waterford, NY on April 28, 1973.

D&H #302 at Colonie, NY sometime in April, 1973

D&H #302 at Colonie, NY sometime in April, 1973

D&H #302 at Colonie, NY sometime in April, 1973. I love this shot of it taking on coal.

I have more that are from May 1973, but I will post them next month.

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