Thursday, April 19, 2007

New York Central Railroad Steam Locomotive #5433


The beautiful, well proportioned Hudson locomotive comes to mind immediately when New York Central is mentioned. No. 5433, one of the class J-3a locomotives built in 1937 by the American Locomotive Co. in Schenectady, sometimes referred to as "Super Hudsons", is portrayed at Harmon, N.Y., September 1953.

Photo by Ed Nowak

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Joseph A. Smith (1895-1978) was an avid collector of railroad photos, sharing many of them with fellow collectors in the Northeast. A former plumbing contractor, Smith presumably developed his interest in railroads through his father – a trolley motorman in Troy, NY.

His extensive collection focused on the lines that once served Troy: Delaware & Hudson, Rutland, Boston & Maine and New York Central. Many of his children – especially his sons Joseph Jr., James and Paul -- developed a similar interest and added to his collection with photos of their own. Maintaining the collection is now in the hands of his grandson, Kenneth Bradford. Coincidentally, Ken’s other grandfather worked as a manager at the Schenectady plant of the American Locomotive Company.

Smith was a life member of the Capital District Railroad Club of Schenectady. He was also a member of the Mohawk-Hudson Chapter Railway Historical Society and its parent organization, the National Railway Historical Society.