GP-9 724 and sisters with eastbound freight, plus a westbound snow dozer, at Sheep Creek, Montana
J. Craig Thorpe

GP-9 724 and sisters with eastbound freight, plus a westbound snow dozer, at Sheep Creek, Montana

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.

An eastward freight train powered by GP-9 724 and two sisters is crossing Sheep Creek in Montana on bridge 1166.7. Sheep Creek, originally known as Bad Hill Creek, is located approximately two miles east of Essex. The beginning of the 1.8% compensated grade to Summit station is about a mile and a half ahead of the train at Nimrod, elevation 3,999 feet. A helper engine of three or four F-3 and F-7 units in almost any combination and order, so long as a cab unit was pointed outward at each end, is shoving behind the caboose to get this train up to Summit, elevation 5,211 feet, at the crest of Continental Divide.

On the westward main track, a plow extra is returning to Essex, with its snow dozer trailing and its bat wings in the upright position for travel. The bat wings were lowered to the horizontal position to plow snow at speeds of up to 50 MPH. Great Northern owned a fleet of snow dozers, all built at St. Cloud shops and all to the railway’s own design.

As on many American railroads, EMD’s ‘General Purpose’ units were the power that displaced the last steam engines on the Great Northern. Great Northern purchased 56 GP-7s and 79 GP-9’s numbered continuously from 600 through 734 from 1950 through 1959. Number 724 was built in November of 1957, renumbered to BN 1797, and retired on December 10, 1979.

Prints are shipped in a tube.