On a chilly day in December of 1942 Jack Delano visited the C&NW Railroad’s 40th Street locomotive shops. He captured this crew as they were re-installing the smokebox front on one of their 4-6-2 Pacific locomotives. If one looks closely, a worker can be seen lying on the boiler just in front of the stack as he aids in guiding the enormous cover into place. Also a bit of another worker can be seen in front of the locomotive, his foot resting on the steam chest. A third worker on the shop floor keeps his eye on the progress.
Based on the partial view of the locomotive’s number on the sand dome, this is likely a class “E” engine built by Alco’s Schenectady Works in the early 1920s.
Despite the debris seen on the shop floor, the workers apparently liked to keep the locomotive itself tidy evidenced by the broom on its running board, along with a spare on the work platform.