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The SMS Baldwins

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In early May of 1995 Railpace news magazine sponsored a field day at the Pureland industrial complex in Bridgeport NJ. What makes Pureland facility different from others it that it has its own railroad in a sense and what is special about the railroad is that they operate Baldwin locomotives. The Baldwin locomotive works was known for producing fine steam engines but could never get a grab on the diesel market, it is very unusual to see Baldwins running today.

The day which was specially made for photographers started out in the late afternoon with the first set of shots. Here the SMS 1293 and the SMS 1494 lead a train of old boxcars through a field. SMS operates 4.5 miles of track inside the Pureland complex, the complex is so large that it covers nearly 3000 acres and holds many warehouses and businesses. Its also not far from Philadelphia, just 12 miles which makes it a great place to watch old diesels work. The size of the complex really needs the railroad, which is specially designed to meet the needs of customers.

The engines are posing against one of the major landmarks on the industrial complex. This huge warehouse is one of the largest customers on the property, it requires a lot of switching so the boxcars of goods can be loaded and unloaded. SMS maintains a large fleet of Baldwin switchers to handle all the work that is around the property.

Here is a shot of both the 1293 and the 1494 together, although both engines are Baldwins and are both classified as DS-4-4-1000. As you can see from the outside the 1293 has 4 smoke stacks while the 1494 only has one, this indicates that the engines came from different heritage and that different railroads purchased locomotives with different options. The 1293 was built for the Copper range in 1947 and the 1494 was built for the Pennsylvania in 1949.

The next stop for the engines was one of the large plants of the property. Here the 1293 and the 1494 have been split up and the 1494 has been placed on the siding. It is very rare that 2 of the Baldwins run together on the property, but they are paired together for this special railfan day.

Here is a close up shot of the 1494 near the plant, the engine looks really great it its green and yellow paint. The locomotive was re-numbered to number 302 in 1997 and has worked for 5 railroads in its existence.

Here are the two Baldwins heading the train away from one of the major industrial sites. This is a a very good view of the trackwork that is used by the locomotives everyday, it is certainly seen better days.

As the afternoon wore on the weather became worse and worse, with clouds rolling in. However the railfan day continued as evidenced by this shot. Notice the really industrial trackwork, this is truly not high iron.

Another great view of the industrial trackwork with the train farther down the line. The ballast used on the line is not heavy duty but is also not meant to see heavy tonnage for a long period of time.

After a short dinner break it was time for a night photo session. Here the two Baldwins pose next to each other and in-front of one of the many warehouses on site.

The final shot of the night was truly a classic one with both engines throttling up in-front of the crowd. Its interesting to note that the 1293 is not a mutiple-unit equipped locomotive, therefore an engineer is needed in the cab of both locomotives.

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