29¢ Buchanan’s #999
Issue Date: July 28, 1994
City: Chama, NM
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11 horizontally
Built in 1893 for the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, William Buchanan’s No. 999 was the first engine in the world to exceed 100 miles per hour. Hauling the Empire State Express at 112 mph from Batavia, New York to Buffalo, the No. 999 set not only a world record for steam locomotives, but for any kind of transportation at that time.
During the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the Empire State Express ran between New York and Chicago, completing the 960-mile journey in just under 20 hours - an unprecedented time for any journey of similar length. Of the 62 locomotives shown at the exposition, the No. 999 was by far the most popular. The combination of speed and luxury resulted in one of the most famous trains in the world, and after the exposition it continued to run year-round, making daily trips from Chicago to New York.
So popular was the Empire State Express, that it even appeared on the 1901 2¢ Pan-American stamp. Wanting to show the superiority of American technology, postal officials decided this well-known train was the ideal subject for the 2¢ stamp which featured a “Fast Express.” Today the No. 999 stands on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.