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Nostalgia & History > WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!

Date: 03/30/16 08:57
WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!
Author: santafe199

Bill Gibson really had to work at getting a well lit shot of Santa Fe’s camera car, the 73 (ex-5009, nee 30). The problem was this: the location it sat in for such a long time always had cars blocking the photo angles on the west side and the passenger platform on the east side cast horrid shadows most of the time. But not in the middle of the day in the good old summertime! Yup, that bane of railfan photographers nicknamed “high noon in June(well, July in this case) actually worked to Bill’s advantage. He got a clean shot of the car as well lit as it was ever going to be. And I’ll bet it was pretty close to lunch time on this 7th day of July!

42 years later I would catch up with this car at Cherryvale, KS. I wasn’t able to photograph the “business end” of the car where the motion picture camera was housed. The car’s last owner was a Mr Wayne Hallowell who recently passed away. I understand the car is now up for sale…

1. AT&SF camera car #73 sits at Topeka, KS on the west side of the platform from the mainline on July 7, 1973.
Photo by William A. Gibson (WAG) Sr.

2. ex-AT&SF car 73, now RCPX 30 sits in the deep twilight as WSOR 101 deadheads into Cherryvale, KS on April 16, 2015.

3. The same car the next morning under threatening skies.

Thanks for looking back & forth!
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
Art Gibson (wag216)

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/16 08:59 by santafe199.

Date: 03/30/16 11:24
Re: WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!
Author: TexasChief

I love the photos and have great memories of Biz Car 30.  My father Warren Henry was assigned to the car in Galveston, Texas when he was AGM. The car was actually kept in Houston and we would drive up to board the car for trips.
I remember going to Lubbock, Texas so my dad could view his territory. Just by chance my grandparents lived in Slaton and Lubbock so they were treated to a nice dinner on the car in Lubbock. I also remember traveling to Dallas for the Texas vs OU weekend football game.
My fondest trip was Houston to Chicago on the car when my dad was transferred to Chicago as Asst VP Operations under R.D. Shelton. We loaded the family and our cat on the car for the one way trip to Chicago. I still remember waking up in Wichita and looking out my window thinking this would be the last time I would be on the car.
I was only 14 at the time and my dad was wonderful about always taking us on his business car trips.
Thanks for sharing! Patrick

Date: 03/30/16 14:18
Re: WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!
Author: d500

Those are great photos of the former Business Car and wonderful memories from Mr. Henry about his travels accompanying his Dad.  There is a beautiful AT&SF Business car for sale in Kansas City.  It is #37, named Chico and belonged to Marvin Robertson who I know spoke highly of Warren Henry.  The Robertson family is selling #37.  Thanks for posting the photos of the business car converted to film car and the contributing dialogue from Mr. Henry.

Date: 03/30/16 19:57
Re: WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!
Author: KskidinTx

Well, I ran those movies that Uncle John shot from September 1978 until the end on November 30, 1986.  After Business Car 30 had completed the filming of several portions of the railroad to be used in the Santa Fe Locomotive Engineer Training Center's simulator it was used as an "office car" the rest of the time.  I'm not sure but I think it may have been moved once during that time period.  If it was moved, it was just over to the Topeka shops for some repair work on it.  I'd usually spend about 4 hours each day in the office car, grading tests, lining up new classes, sending out reports, etc.  Back to Uncle John's movies, towards the end of my time there, the 16 mm film was so old and used so much it would break quite often.  It's hard to imagine how many splices were on each roll.  Especially when the projector was messing up, we may have to splice the film 2 or 3 times during a 2 hour training session.  Overall, it was a great 8 years of my railroad career.  It enabled me to become acquainted with hundreds of employes (trainees as well as management) from across the Santa Fe system.

Date: 12/31/17 20:34
Re: WAG Wednesday: Uncle John shot movies!
Author: MojaveBill

That would make a nice kitbash and a short train that operators could insert to pose challenges in scheduling.

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA

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