Photo of the Week
January 26, 2003
week we are going to leave the past and visit the present day. One
of Zonian's favorite old landmarks was Ole 299. Just prior to the
last moment before Treaty Implementation started in 1979 Ole 299
disappeared in the night and was shipped back to Paterson, New
Jersey. The photos below were submitted by CZ Images contributor
The photos of old 299 were taken a couple of years ago at its final resting place outside the Paterson, NJ, museum. The building is the original Rogers Locomotive Works where 299 and all its sisters were built back during the construction days of the Canal. It is now back at its birthplace.
Although it has been stripped of many artifacts, such as its bell, marker lights, and cab gauges, it is maintained in pretty good shape. It is painted regularly by students from local high school industrial arts classes.
Because it was originally displayed with "P.R.R." markings, most folks around here thought it was from the Pennsylvania Railroad. It is now marked with the original "U.S." Unfortunately, there is no plaque or information made available to inform visitors about the locomotive's history. On a recent tour of historic Paterson I was drafted to give a presentation to the group from the cab of 299. Although I have spoken several times to the museum curator about it, nothing has been done. Therefore, to most visitors it is just another old choo-choo train.
These wonderful old locomotives were the work horses during the construction days of the Panama Canal. There were100 of these purchased by the Isthmian Canal Commission (I.C.C.) on September 1, 1906 at a cost of $11,307.00 each. The Mogul Type 2-6-0 Locomotives were numbered from 201 - 300.
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