Beech Grove, IN (February 13, 2020) —Pictured is New York Central Number 6451 in 1930 along with the crew of Locomotive Erecting Shop of the Beech Grove Shops as the locomotive is about to enter service.
The large crew needed to build such an enormous and complicated steam powered machine consisted of metal fabricators, welders, pipe fitters, mechanics and several other skilled tradesmen.
The facility served as the company’s major repair shop for steam locomotives and passenger and freight cars, and also contained an extensive freight rail yard. Surrounding this important building were the smaller coach, paint, boiler, and wheel shops.
Acquired by the New York Central Railway (NYC) in 1906, the Big Four operated as an independent entity until it was finally subsumed by its owner in 1922.
The shops remained in the hands of the NYC until it merged with the rival Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968 to form Penn Central, whose tenure was short-lived as it declared bankruptcy in 1970.
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