Artist Walter L. Greene of Schenectady, New York, was the chief calendar illustrator for the New York Central from 1925 till 1931. His 1925 calendar paintings included this view of the Twentieth Century Limited, "A National Institution," racing south along the Hudson River under the recently constructed Castleton Cutoff. The locomotive is class K-3q Pacific No. No. 3292 (later renumbered to 4692). The green flags indicate another section of the Century is following; patronage on the famous train was so heavy during the 1920s that it often ran with several sections, one after another. The K-3 locomotives could only handle so many cars at the pace of this premier Chicago-to-New York train, and therefore extra sections were needed. Even after the Hudsons, which could haul heavier trains, displaced the Pacifics the Century often required additional sections.
The Castleton Cutoff provided a link for freight trains between Selkirk Yard, south of Albany, and the main lines to New York and Boston east of the Hudson River. The Cutoff bridged the Hudson via the mile-long Alfred H. Smith Memorial Bridge, with spans of 600 and 400 feet more than 150 feet above water level. The locomotive on the bridge appears to be one of the New York Central's H-10 2-8-2 locomotives that were relatively new in 1925, or perhaps an L-2 or L-1 4-8-2 locomotive. The scene is facing north by northwest. By choosing this location, Greene was able to highlight both the Central's premier passenger train and its latest innovations in freight service.
Greene's most famous NYC calendar painting seems to have been "Storm King," featuring a view of a famous promontory along the Hudson River. The print is still available from several sources. This print of "A National Institution" was provided by Paul, Jr. and Jan Ubermuth of Connecticut, and belonged to Mr. Ubermuth's father.