Little Joe

Bryan D. Spellman

Plains, United States

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Artist's Description

Featured in the Preserving History group.

Little Joe is a class EF-4 3,000 volt direct current electric locomotive. Built in 1947/48 for use on the Trans-Siberian Railroad by General Electric of Erie, Pennsylvania. Operated by The Milwaukee Road from 1950 to 1974 on its electrified line between Harlowtown Montana and Avery Idaho, USA. Donated to the people of Deer Lodge, Montana in 1975 and restored by the Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation in 1993-94.

General Electric contracted to build 20 electric locomotives for the Soviet Union in 1946. With the advent of the Cold War, the U.S. prohibited delivery. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, AKA The Milwaukee Road, bought 13 of the 20, having converted them to fit US rail gauge. Because the locomotives were originally built for Uncle Joe Stalin, Milwaukee employees called these models “Little Joe.” The Milwaukee Road had previously electrified its line across western Montana and northern Idaho, making it the longest electric railroad in the country. Unfortunately, the line converted to diesel power just in time to be hit by the oil embargo of the early 70s. This, along with other factors, put the company in bankruptcy and it ceased operations completely in 1985. It left some beautiful buildings in Montana, and a few of these locomotives in towns where the line was an important employer.

Taken April 1, 2010 in Deer Lodge, Montana.

Nikon D80 DSLR, Nikkor 16-85 mm wide angle/tele/zoom lens set at 22 mm.

ISO 100, f /27.0, 1/8 second.

Finished in Photoshop CS4.

Artwork Comments

  • CeePhotoArt
  • GiselaSchneider
  • Bryan D. Spellman
  • Judith Hayes
  • Bryan D. Spellman
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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