Photo of the Week
January 26, 2003

     This 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 Andy Demes.

Andy writes:

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.

Andy Demes

Ole 299 shines with dignity now so her memory can last forever.

Thanks for the great photos Andy.

Other 299 and sister photos on the CZ Images web site"

Love Rides the Rails
Sister Loco 201 In Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Sister Loco 300 and others in Pedro Miguel
Sister 247 at play
299 in her glory in 1955

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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