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Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Preamble to the Preamble

In the last blog post we saw the "Preamble Express" the preceded the American Freedom Train as it traveled across the United States as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of American Independence from Great Britain in 1776. Today we see a different type of "Preamble Express". To test the eventual routing of the AFT, a "Preamble
Express" consisting of a red, white & blue locomotive and four passenger cars was sent around the country in 1974. The first locomotive to pull this train was Delaware & Hudson #2312 (earlier numbered 312), a U23B built by GE (build number 36814, Sept. 1968). This train actually toured the USA for 4 months getting ready for the actual Freedom Train and its Preamble Express. The description on the back of this post card tells us that this train "is ready to depart Lebanon, N.J.", which was the location of the offices responsible for the success of the American Freedom Train.

The post card was published by the Audio-Visual Designs Company. Audio-Visual Designs was started in 1964 by Carl Sturner for the sole purpose of providing railfans with sound recordings of locos and trains as well as with photochrome postcards of trackside photos. These stunning color images
were taken all over the country by some well-known photographers such as David Sweetland. The history and product line of AVD can be found on the company's website at This is taken from my favorite post card website: The Metropolitan Postcard Club.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.