The Empire Builder - Signed and Numbered Artist Proof
Larry Fisher

The Empire Builder - Signed and Numbered Artist Proof

Regular price $800.00 $0.00 Unit price per

The Empire Builder is one of three color prints by well known artist Mr. Larry Fisher.

The image is a high quality 26 inch high by 17 inch wide print. The mat closest to the image should be placed just under the signature and the numbering on the print. The mat sizes and frame are of choice for the finished print framed.

This is a signed and numbered Artist Proof, and there are only a few left!

In 1957 Great Northern’s EMPIRE BUILDER, eastbound No. 32, winds through the snow sheds of Marias Pass in northwestern Montana skirting the base of the Main Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Continental Divide is a few miles ahead at Summit.  EMD F3A No. 352-C, built late in 1947, is on point of this A-B-B-A, four-unit engine climbing 14 miles up a 1.8% grade.

Passing through snowshed 10.7 at MP 1163.4 and entering a ‘clear block’ the four F units will soon be drifting down to the foot hills of central Montana on the low stress running of the 1% descending grade.  Then the combined 6,000 hp diesels can utilize their 79 mph gearing to stay on schedule for an 8:42 pm arrival in Minot, North Dakota.  At Minot No. 32 will be about twenty nine hours out of Seattle, and eighteen from Chicago.  The Burlington Route will take the Builder from St. Paul east to the Windy City. Forty four and a half hours after her Seattle departure she will be arriving at Chicago’s Union Station, completing a 2200 mile, 2-night journey.

The Marias Pass route, built in the 1890’s by the Great Northern, although the highest point on the GN main, is the lowest crossing of the Continental Divide of any U.S. railroad.  The west slope of the pass includes twisting, snaking tracks through the canyon of Bear Creek, a tributary of the West Fork of the Flathead River, and passing through snowsheds to attain the 5,213-foot summit. All but the very lightest eastbound freight trains need a helper engine to climb this grade.

The Builder departed King Street Station in Seattle at 3:30 pm yesterday. Her schedule is arranged to afford passengers the opportunity to view the spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery during daylight hours.  With the sun now well up, at about 8:30 am, the passengers can take in the grandeur that is the Montana Rockies. As is the case here, the rail line is located along the southern boundary of Glacier National Park for several miles. 

Great Northern converted the Builder from steam to diesel power, ‘streamlined’ the consist with new cars, and adopted her striking color scheme of Omaha Orange and Pullman Green with gold striping in 1947. GN replaced the cars new in 1947 with new cars in 1951. The mid-century Builder was a name synonymous with excellence in transportation. Famed cowboy-artist Charles Russell’s murals decorate the interior. The mid-century Builder’s color scheme was in many railroaders' opinion, “the Best Ever.”

In 1955, six full-length ‘Great Dome’ lounge cars, one for each train set plus a spare, were added to the roster as were sixteen regular dome cars.  

The Empire Builder was named in honor of Great Northern’s first president, James J. Hill. 

Shipped in a tube.

Shipping available to United States and Canada ONLY.