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Steam & Excursion > Remembering the late George Cockle


Date: 01/15/23 13:16
Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: Copy19

George Cockle was a fixture in the UP terminal in Council Bluffs.  As most of us know he produced several picture books on UP diesels.  One day I was working on something at headquarters with him and I asked him for a picture of a SD-40.  He jumped up and said "I'll run over to the Bluffs and get something!"   I was taken aback knowing he had an extensive collection of every UP diesel on the property.  He insisted though and I let him go knowing I could never talk him out of a visit across the River with my sanction to protect him from the special agents.

The operating department had been after him for time for climbing up on top of units on the service tracks to get pictures of rooftop details.   One day I received an angry call from the VPO's office that said they would throw his a## in jail if they caught him climbing    on equipment again.  I had a similar call one night from a sheriff's office in Texas where George was being held for trespassing.  It took me better part of an evening to get him sprung. 

He always promised he wouldn't do that again.  

Recently I came across this print in my photo bin at home.  On the back was a typed label that read:

UP 844 in two-tone paint scheme
with extra tender in Yellow.
Council Bluffs, IA
24 July 1989
Photographed by  GEORGE R, COCKLE


Nice work George.  I see your feet are firmly on the ground.  :-)  John



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/23 13:40 by Copy19.




Date: 01/15/23 13:31
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: Frisco1522

Nice B&W view of a great paint scheme.



Date: 01/15/23 15:13
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: DRGWMark

That was actually 844's very first run after regaining its original number. The engine made a two-day deadhead from Cheyenne to Council Bluffs on freight for a BOD special out of Omaha.

Many thanks to the late Mr. Cockle for capturing this!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/23 15:13 by DRGWMark.



Date: 01/15/23 16:49
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: UP3806

Sorry to hear of his passing. His 'Giants of the West' is one of my favorites.

Tom



Date: 01/15/23 23:37
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: Westbound

I recall that he had a regular column in the long gone Pacific News railroad magazine.
Until this posting I knew nothing about him.



Date: 01/16/23 01:51
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: dan

His house was broken into losing a lot of material, iirc, he was really hurt by that, we all were, his info is a  treasure trove.



Date: 01/16/23 06:02
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: Copy19

George also was a highly decorated Army officer combat veteran.

JB - Omaha



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/23 07:21 by Copy19.



Date: 01/16/23 20:45
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: UP951West

I remember George . Wherever the 844 or 3985 was at , there was George with his Pentax 6x7 camera . I recall telling him about the dragging heavy plastic under the front end of the rental car he was driving at Birdwood ( west throat to Bailey Yard ), most likely ripped up from  driving too fast along the right of way to get a good shot. George really growled about that when he saw the damage. 
He was one heck of a train photographer . I used to carefully study his photos to improve my photography . Last time I saw George was on the Vinson St. overpass in Omaha . A fence had been erected that limited train shots, but there was George already in position with a port cut into the fencing. He saw me and gave me a smile and hollered " There's a hole right near you . I know , I cut it myself ". 
Please share more photos and stories of George Cockle. 



Date: 01/17/23 07:00
Re: Remembering the late George Cockle
Author: gregscholl

DRGWMark Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That was actually 844's very first run after
> regaining its original number. The engine made a
> two-day deadhead from Cheyenne to Council Bluffs
> on freight for a BOD special out of Omaha.
>
> Many thanks to the late Mr. Cockle for capturing
> this!

Yes I think you are right.  A friend and I from here in SW Ohio chased the whole thing.  Freight from Cheyenne to North Platte, second day freight North Platte to Council Bluffs. One day off, maybe 2 for cleaning and so forth...might be the day in the picture copy19 sent.  Then there was the reason they came, which was to help celebrate the opening of the new Harriman Despatch Center in Omaha.  There were a few hours where the train was in display, and the big steps to the cab allowed BOD to inspect the cab of 844.  After that they ran an evening dinner train to Valley and Back.  After all that it was freight back to North Platte and then freight(50 hopper cars) North Platte to Cheyenne.  Quite the trip.  Almost nobody knew about (Great thing about no internet), and it was a really fun time for us.  Its all covered in our Union Pacific Steam Volume 2-844 Returns.  That time in Council Bluffs might be the day we cleaned the 844 with Bob K and Lyn Nystrom.
Greg Scholl
http://www.gregschollvideo.com
 



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