Mar 26, 2015
Nice way they cleaned up the lines on the T4s.
I guess. To me something just looks off about these units.
Blue Hour sees westbound BNSF grain loads laboring past CP 10.6 west pf Minot:
Another shot from '75 shows a westbound C&NW freight hitting the EJ&E diamonds at Barrington, IL. I did have the presence of mind to photograph the 'J' tower here both in b&w and in color.
Can we see a photo or two of this tower? Please?
I think it's the extra hidden tank for the tofu off which they run.
Sure thing, but I just realized that my C&NW freight photo must have been taken in Des Plaines, IL at Deval Tower. The 'J' was single track at Barrington and the diamond in the photo has multiple tracks.
But, Barrington Tower is worth a look and here are three photos of it. One is from April 1980 of an eastbound "Scoot" bound for Chicago, another is of EJ&E Train #6 clearing the plant with a wave from the Op and the last is of the Armstrong levers and timing clocks. The b&w shots are probably from 1976. Good memories here. Barrington Tower is gone, as is Deval.
Wow. Look at all of those levers! An "Armstrong" plant.
Here's the C&NW's Deval Tower in Des Plaines, IL northwest of Chicago. Deval sat within a triangle of tracks, bordered by the C&NW's triple-track Harvard Sub, a busy double-track freight line shared by the C&NW and MILW to handle trains between Proviso Yard and Bensenville Yard and points north and the single tracked Soo Line. Deval suffered an electrical fire and was razed in 2012.
Neat stuff for sure; I too love this sort of thng. The levers marked [E] and [W] set up the J's train order signal depending on train direction. The J's Western Sub was a north/south railroad here, but it was an east/west railroad by timetable because of the busy Eastern Sub's orientation between Joliet, IL and Gary, IN.
I was thinking back to my days as a young teen in the innocent mid-70s taking pictures at these places and never once being run off by an Operator. That era ended in the summer of '79 at Deval when a kindly local policeman arrived to say that the railroad had called and wanted me gone.
The cop was cool though. He next asked me "if I worked for the railroad". I said, "Yes, for the Santa Fe, but they're not present here." He said that was fine, wished me a good day and drove off. I did indeed work that summer for the Santa Fe, so all was above board. I think the color shot above was taken on that visit.
I've long wondered what the Op must have thought when the cop left and I stayed on.
Those commuter coaches in C&NW colors look cool. So much more character than you see now, These are just too generic.
Found another old (low-rez) scan taken in Barrington, IL probably taken about 1975 as an eastbound C&NW freight passes by EJ&E power. The "J" crew had gone to beans. That's Barrington Tower in the background to the left of the 663. This is the sort of shot that should scan nicely when I buy a new scanner. Fortunately I have all of my negatives carefully stored.
I recall a funny exchange of radio chatter one night between an EJ&E crew and a new Op at Barrington Tower.
Crew: We'd like to run down the interchange track and get some supper. (This got them much closer to the restaurant.)
Op: Can we do that?
Crew: I guess so.
Op: Okay then, I'll set it up.
Were they taking advantage of a newbie? Or was this a usual routine?
One of my favorite scanner conversations that I heard was from back on the Southern Pacific. I have probably told it here years ago but I would like to repeat it. I used to have the scanner going while I was up in my train room modeling. One night a crew was heading west on the old former San Antonio & Aransas Pass line out of Houston. Back then the dispatching was done locally and the dispatchers knew everything about their territory. One of the crew was complaining about the way his wife had packed his grip. "She forgot to include a bottle of Tabasco Sauce for my rice." Dispatch: "OK, I can give you track and time to stop your train on the mainline at mile post 32. From there you can walk to Dozer's Grocery in Fulshear and pick up some Tabasco." Crewman: "OK, thanks." and he then repeated the order back. Not much traffic on that line then so he wasn't holding anyone up.
Great story, Russell! Thanks for the giggle!
It sounded like the crew hadn't thought of running the locomotive to the restaurant before, so asked the uncertain Op. I did notice that from this day forward, the J crews often motored down the interchange track to the restaurant.
20+ years ago my wife and I were railfanning the Santa Fe in remote Maine, AZ. We stopped at a nearby store to buy some snacks and the owner said that when trains were held there, crews would often dash over to her store. She was amazed that the railroad permitted such a thing.
Took this photo at Maine that day. While waiting, a crewman on the stopped train to the right gave me his Employee Timetable which I still treasure.
Great stories, you guys.
I remember reading a story about how there were passenger trains in the earlier days of railroading that would stop right on the mainline so the crew and certain passengers could go fishing at known good spots.