A 1980s PBS documentary about early diesels


This is how I spent my morning while packing for a house move. The 1980s music, the people they interviewed, the VHS artefacts; everything was amazing.

Screenshot from the documentary showing a Baldwin centre cab diesel locomotive

But I’m sure other rail nerds would especially appreciate this zinger at 37:30:

Besides the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern, six other roads owned centre cabs. In fact, Baldwin designed the unit for the Elgin, Jolliet and Eastern; a beltline around Chicago owned by US Steel. EJ&E’s centre cabs continued in service into the 1970s after most of the others were scrapped.

The secret? EJ&E replaced the Baldwin engines with EMD.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.