Photos from the Main Line

 

This scene is a late model Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight on the West Central near Pine Haven.

 

A set of Northern Pacific F units emerge from one of the tunnels at St. John's Pass (restroom).  Crew members on trains through this region need to beware the dreaded "Pass Gas," sometimes reported to bring tears to the eyes.

 

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight approaches the water tower at Summit, the highest elevation on the West Central railroad system.  The water tower was not removed at the end of steam operation in 1960, and has become useful to resumed steam excursion service.  The background scenery was painted by club member Dennis Hamilton.

 

West Central steam switcher No.1060 spots reefer cars for the Midland Meats packing plant, sometime in the early 1950s.  It looks like the guys on the loading dock might be in some trouble for dropping a carcass.  

 

Workers ice reefer cars near the Midland Meats packing plant adjacent to Woodman Yard.  Loaded cars from the packing plant could be iced just before leaving the area.  Cars in transit could be backed into the icing dock by a switcher and then cut back into their train.  Union Ice building and ice dock by Dennis Hamilton.

 

 

A West Central Alco RS-2 accelerates away from the reefers with a blast of signature Alco smoke.  A few of these units were purchased in the late 40s as a replacement for worn out 2-6-0s and 4-4-0s steam engines still being used on some unprofitable branch lines.  The Alcos showed that one diesel could replace four older steamers in branchline service and cut the labor needed to one third.  This saved many branch lines from abandonment for 20 years or more.  These 1,500 horsepower road switchers ran very well for the West Central Railroad.  They were seldom used at full power for sustained periods, thus the series 244 engines did not develop the problems that they did on road engines.

 


 

A West Central consolidation steam engine trundles up the Third Division between Crawford and Summit.

 

 

The West Central passenger depot at Crawford.

 

Diesels on the WC
Steam on the WC
WC branch line to Summit
 


 

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