This web site is a collection of New York Central System locomotive photos. Initially, many of the steam photos belonged to my father, the Rev. Dr. Richard D. Leonard, while some were taken by me in the 1950s. Others came from Gary Thompson of Normal, Illinois; Tom Rock of Cleveland, Tennessee; and my brother, Rev. David V. Leonard, late of Binghamton, New York. Eventually a sizeable group of images came from other sources via Wayne Koch of Mount Kisco, New York; these include William D. Volkmer, Carl Weber, John Sita, and Frank Fabian. Finally, several images of special interest were purchased via eBay. The Diesel Collection consists of photos my brother and I took in the 1950s. In the NYC Fantasy Steam collection are several images of New York Central steam that existed only in my imagination!

For additional interest, click this link to read my article "Michigan Memories of the New York Central" published in the third quarter 2012 issue of Central Headlight by the New York Central System Historical Society (opens as a PDF in a separate window). We also present a 1940 New York Central roster published in Railroad Magazine, by permission of Carstens Publications, then publishers of successor magazine Railroad & Railfan, and a 1944 steam roster appearing in the late Alvin F. Staufer's Steam Power of the New York Central System, Volume 1, by permission of the same publishers as requested by the New York Central System Historical Society.

The older steam photos here come from the 1930s, in many cases prior to the system-wide locomotive renumbering of 1936. These are generally from unknown photographers, though a few are identified. Some are photos of motive power delivered after World War II, including the last classes of steam engines ordered by the system. For additional commentary on my New York Central photography in the 1950s, visit the New York Central page in Richard Leonard's Steam Locomotive Archive. A few additional photos of NYC steam operating on the Michigan Central's Canada Southern subsidiary appear in the Canada section of our Random Steam Photo Collection. Some of the technical and historical information in the commentaries can be credited to the two-volume Steam Locomotives of the New York Central Lines by William D. Edson and H. Lansing Vail (volume I, 1997; volume 2, 2002), published by the New York Central System Historical Society.

Click on the selections below to bring up a full size image with commentary. You can also page through the collection sequentially. In most cases, locomotives are listed in order by their final number, although the photo may show an older number; photos from NYC subsidiary lines appear below those for the NYC proper. For further enjoyment, explore the links at left, including The Diesel Collection. And have some fun with my NYC Fantasy Steam.

Dr. Richard Leonard

Note: In the specifications for steam locomotives, cylinder dimensions are stated as diameter times stroke (e.g., 26x30). The abbreviation p.s.i. applied to boiler pressure designates pounds per square inch.