The first group of seven A-2 Berkshires was delivered to New York Central subsidiary Pittsburgh & Lake Erie in 1948. A modern steam design with overfire jets and other state-of-the-art appliances, the A-2a class nevertheless featured spoked driving wheels instead of disc drivers and lacked boosters. These omissions were rectified in the second order outshopped by Alco in 1952. The A-2b class, Nos. 9407-9414, brought the total number of P&LE Berkshires to fifteen. Like the A-2a class, they were painted a deep olive green. But as this photo of the final member of the class shows, in their gritty industrial-region service they soon lost their luster. After service on the Ohio Division, the remaining members of the class were retired in 1966. No. 9414 is seen here after receiving running gear repairs at Bellefontaine.

A New York Central "Fantasy Steam" Feature