A fine railroad tradition is The Builder’s Photo, the wonderful documentation of a brand-new locomotive before it is turned loose on the world of railroading. As an order for new locomotives is readied for delivery, a representative unit will be photographed by the Company Photographer before it leaves the plant.
Ahead of the new locomotive are a thousand thunderstorms, millions of miles of windblown dust and dirt, decades of ultraviolet radiation, and a couple lifetimes’ worth of weather extremes. It will never look this good again, but thanks to The Builder’s Photo, we can still see it pristine.
These photos were taken at RELCO Locomotives in Albia, Iowa, on August 14 and 15, 2009, a few days before GN 441 headed west. Click here for the official EMD Builder’s Photo of the Great Northern F45.
Another fine railroad tradition is photographing the shop crew with a locomotive. Some of the RELCO craftsman posed with GN 441 on the morning of August 20, 2009. Within an hour it will be on its way to Montana. (Photo copyright RELCO Locomotives.)
All photos copyright Tom Lambrecht unless credited otherwise
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