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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Today in history: the picture on this post card's date

The engine on the front of this post card is an EMD FP7A. The EMD means that it was manufactured by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors. The FP7A is the model of engine. The FP7A model was designed to be a diesel engine that carried a steam generator as part of the cab. This allowed the engine to pull and heat passenger trains. This model was also an improvement over the previous EMD E-units because the company changed the wheel configuration to give the engine better traction pulling up grades. The engine was rated for 1,500 horsepower.
The company started building the FP7A units in June of 1949 and the final one rolled out of the factory in December of 1953 after about 380 of these engines were built. This particular engine on the post card was one of the last ones. It was built in December of 1953 as part of order number 3169-A2. Its serial number is 19065. Originally built for the Alaskan Railroad as number 1512, this picture shows it as part of the Wyoming & Colorado Railroad on September 23, 1989 – 28 years ago today and almost 64 years after it rolled into service.

I have looked on the internet and I can find a picture of the same engine in service. The picture is dated January 1, 1996. The engine was serving the Wyoming Scenic Railroad in that picture. Let’s hope that it has had a long and fruitful life and that someone is still enjoying it today.

I found this information about the publishing company on their website: Founded in 1964 by the late Carl H. Sturner, Audio-Visual Designs has been a leader in providing high quality railroad images products for over 4 decades. The business was originally located in Earlton, NY. The name was derived by the products sold at the time – audio soundtracks of trains well as visual items (post cards, books, & calendars). The first All Pennsy Calendar was published in 1966 and for many years used exclusively the photos of Don Wood, a long time friend of Carl's. In the late 80's, Carl started showcasing other photographer's work as well.
Railroad Christmas cards were added to the line of products early on and with a few exceptions have featured real photos of trains in action. Three railroad books have been published by Audio-Visual Designs: I Remember Pennsy, Locomotives in My Life, and The Unique New York and Long Branch: all of which were projects worked on by Carl and Mr. Wood. Audio-Visual Designs has also published books for other non-railroad related organizations. By the time of his untimely passing in 1995, Carl had grown Audio-Visual Designs into an established icon in the railfan community - providing an enjoyable aspect of both the railfanning and model railroading hobbies. We serve many excursion railroads, museums, and hobby shops with stock post card images, greeting cards, custom products and the All Pennsy Calendar.

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