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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Driftin' by the depot!

Date: 10/25/22 18:24
Driftin' by the depot!
Author: santafe199

Here’s a scene I experienced a few times in my career. (But not on a steam engine) Go on switch engine duty, line up your work and go find your engine. Depart the tie-up area and make your way to your work area. And that path takes you over the main line right past the haughty passenger depot. You are making this pass only because there is no passenger action imminent. So there’s no rush. Otherwise the powers that be would tell you to sit tight and wait your turn. And when you do get the chance you can just casually roll down the track, taking your merry time getting to your afternoon’s work. Just another RR crew going to work.

I can construct such a scenario by looking at the scene above. The actual agenda could be a number of different things. Especially considering it’s a 2-8-0 we’re looking at. From my own experience I just think it’s kinda cool to see a lowly yard goat rolling past the lofty house of varnish at a leisurely rate of speed... ;^)

1. UP 2-8-0 420 rolls by the Topeka, KS passenger depot on the lazy afternoon of December 7, 1935. Photographer Bill Gibson is standing near the NW corner of the grand depot structure. The 2-8-0’s hogger has no doubt noticed he is being photographed. Note the Rock Island passenger car in the background...

Thanks for being nostalgic! Even if you’re not a railroader... ;^)
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
Jim Wilson (jtwlunch)
Remembering the late Bill Gibson, aka ‘WAG Sr’

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/22 19:24 by santafe199.

Date: 10/25/22 18:44
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: MMD

Going by the lettering on the loco I suspect the "time Frame" is some what earlier than 1955,  possibly 1945 ?????

New Zealand.

Date: 10/25/22 19:22
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: santafe199

MMD Wrote: > ...earlier than 1955,  possibly 1945 ...

I dug the 2 3/4 x 4 1/2 print back out and put a microscope to the fine & badly faded handwriting. The date could be 1935, but the "3" is oddly shaped, looking very much like a "5". I can also supply 'December 7' with the adjusted 1935. But the whole thing is very faint, and with everyone using a sort of scrawling, cursive handwriting style in those days it's very difficult to get the right look at it. Thanks for nudging me into another look! I'm quite sure, with these tiny reprints, it won't be the last time I'll need to double check... :^)


Date: 10/25/22 22:49
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: MMD

Yes Lance, 1935 would be a very good bet these 400 class locos were used on the ' Plains' for most of there lives I modeled the UP in the steam era and that type of lettering was what was used at that time.    I very much enjoy this type of photo, thanks for posting it.

New Zealand

Date: 10/27/22 17:48
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: 567Chant

I wonder about the purpose of the 'treasure chest' on the front porch.
Knuckle storage?

Date: 10/28/22 10:36
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: LarryDoyle

"X-420" and white flags - looks like a road job.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/22 11:31 by LarryDoyle.

Date: 10/28/22 12:48
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: LarryDoyle

The valve gear, cylinders, and outside steam pipes look like a retrofit.

I surmise she was built by Baldwin as Vauclain compound, then simpled.

Sorry, Wes - no superheater.


Date: 10/31/22 07:56
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: ironmtn

Terrific, evocative image...and the storyline to go with it.

Many are the times I've stood on a station platform, either actually waiting for a train, or just railfanning, as the local sauntered by. Sometimes several times, with work to do on both sides of the depot. And you could always tell which jobs had an early quit, or a ton of work to do that day, or knowledge through the "grapevine" that supervision was out and about that day. Then, ah yes, the saunter was more like a sprint. Can't imagine why.


Date: 11/08/22 15:12
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: march_hare

Geez, in those years, a 2-8-0 wouldn't be thought of as a yard goat here on the D&H. Mainline road power in many cases. 

Date: 11/17/22 05:58
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: texchief1

Nice story and shot!

RC Lundgren

Date: 11/17/22 09:20
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: agentatascadero

LarryDoyle Wrote:
> "X-420" and white flags - looks like a road job.
> -LD

That was my conclusion too.  Looks like a light engine move.


Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA

Date: 11/18/22 16:48
Re: Driftin' by the depot!
Author: MacBeau

You can almost smell the coal smoke and warm grease. Thanks for the look back.

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