Pride of the Central

Today’s blog entry offers a behind-the-scenes look at my 1989 painting of a New York Central Hudson locomotive, “Pride of the Central.”  The scene I chose to paint shows J3a “Super Hudson” No. 5405 exiting the twin tunnel bore on the 4 track mainline at Oscawanna, New York, at a full gallop. This thoroughbred’s main claim to fame was its speed, having pulled the 20th Century Limited between Chicago and New York City in 16 hours.

My childhood memories at Detroit’s Michigan Central Terminal inspired me to paint this beautiful locomotive. My mother worked here in the engineers’ payroll department for the Michigan Central; on occasion, my father would take me down to visit her. It was here that I got my first close look at these coal breathing giants. The vivid memory still exists to this day. It is really hard to believe that not one of these magnificent machines were ever saved, but their legacy will live on forever.

“Pride of the Central” at 12 hrs Development

“Pride of the Central” at 45 hrs Development

“Pride of the Central at 162 hrs development

“Pride of the Central” at 300 hrs Development

“Pride of the Central” Complete at 370 hrs Development

History of the New York Central Hudson Locomotive

Out of a veil of steam and coal dust, “Pride of the Central”, J3a, Extra 5405 West storms out of the twin tunnel bore at Oscawanna, New York in September 1937. Take this opportunity to own a print of Tom Rock’s classic railroad painting. Available in both Limited and Open Editions.  Click here to view/purchase this print at Rock on Trains.

Rock on Trains © 2012, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

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