In December of 1942 Jack Delano spent some time down at the Chicago and North Western’s coaling tower in Chicago, Illinois. While there, he captured this image of one of the road’s class E-4 streamlined 4-6-4 “Hudson” locomotives. These steamers, numbered 4001-4009, were ordered from Alco in 1937 to power the C&NW’s famous “400” express passenger trains.
The story is that management decided, even before delivery, that using steam power for their premier trains wasn’t the direction to head. They instead placed an order for diesel-electric locomotives with EMD. Thus the nine E-4s were used to power other trains.
These modern locomotives lived a rather short life, with all retired by 1956. All were eventually scrapped.