Cotton Belt 819 in Steam

Photos by Mike Condren

The 1990 NRHS National Convention was headquartered around St. Louis Union Station. Here we first see SSW 819 as it backed into the area where the 4 steam engine which operated to the convention were displayed.
Here we see the two 4-8-4 locomotives parked side-by-side at the St. Louis Union Station.
This view shows the N&W 1218 at the left and the UP 844 and SSW 819 in the distance. We missed getting any action shots of the N&W and UP engines.
We chased the Cotton Belt engine on its return trip to Arkansas beginning in East St. Louis. Here we see the train in Chester, IL along side the Mississippi River. The engine got a bad load of oil for fuel which did not burn well, thus the engine did not steam well, allowing for an easy chase as the train had to regularly stop to build up steam. Note the very black smoke in the action shots of this train.
The train is now seen at Dexter, MO having crossed the Mississippi River.
We ended our chase at Brookland, AR, north of Jonesboro, AR. After we left the chase the engine developed trouble in the form of the loss of the whistle at speed resulting in the loss of steam. The engine ended its journey being pulled by a diesel into Pine Bluff.

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