F-3 350-C with 1955 Empire Builder westward on the Stone Arch Bridge at Minneapolis
J. Craig Thorpe

F-3 350-C with 1955 Empire Builder westward on the Stone Arch Bridge at Minneapolis

Regular price $24.95 $0.00 Unit price per

This is one of five color prints by noted Seattle area artist Mr. J. Craig Thorpe.

Each image is a high quality giclee print on 11x14 paper, with unprinted margin of .75 inch to fit a standard 11x14 inch frame, without matte. They will also fit a standard 12x16 inch frame with a matte, or a standard 14x18 inch frame, with a larger matte.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh PA, and blessed with a grandfather who regularly took him for rides on streetcars and commuter trains, he studied art at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, completed a bachelor’s program in design at Carnegie-Mellon University, served in the Army Transportation Corps, worked for architects in Virginia where he honed his illustration skills. Craig completed a Master of Divinity program near Boston, and moved to Seattle as a Presbyterian pastor. He left the ministry in 1985 to concentrate on free-lance architectural and transportation renderings for a range of clients. A 1991 commission to show a proposed Amtrak depot at Olympia, WA opened the door to national exposure when Amtrak used the image for its 1993 Corporate Calendar.

The 1951 Empire Builder, with the dome cars added to the train in 1955, is crossing the Mississippi River westward behind engine 350-C on the Stone Arch bridge at Minneapolis MN.

Great Northern’s F unit numbering scheme was unusual. The first digit indicates the number of units that comprised the power consist. This is best indicated with the FTs which were bought as four-unit road freight sets and as three-unit helper sets for use over the Rocky Mountains. The four-unit sets were numbered in the low 400 series and the three unit sets in the low 300 series. Each unit had a letter suffix in the format A, B, C, D to create a unique number for accounting purposes.

By the late 1940’s passenger F units, intended to be deployed as a set of three 1500 horsepower units were placed in the 300 series and freight Fs, intended to be deployed as four 1500 horsepower unit sets were placed in the 400 series. After the railway figured out that keeping all three or four units together in the shop while one was being repaired was not a good idea, the letter suffix was incorporated into the number, painted on the sides large enough to be easy to read, displayed in the number boards, and used in train orders as the engine number, as shown here with 350-C, an EMD F-3 built in November of 1947 and traded in to EMD in February of 1966.

Prints are shipped in a tube.