Hello Friends and Family,

Arizona Railway Museum, 2022, Part 2

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

A major step of railroad progress is evidenced by this diesel locomotive. Of course, such a locomotive is not run solely with a diesel engine — since the engine powers an electric generator connected to electric motors which actually turn the drive wheels to move the train forward. It sounds like a Rube Goldberg invention but there a number of advantages to this design.

  • They only needed the installation of diesel fuel bunkers/refueling facilities to get going, everything other piece of infrastructure was shared with steam locomotives.
  • Far cleaner, they don't spew spot and ash everywhere. Even oil burning steam locomotives are dirtier than diesels.
  • Far more fuel efficient.
  • Far easier maintenance.
  • Safer than steam locomotives.
  • Multiple locomotives could be operated by one crew.

The major disadvantage is the "coolness" factor — steam engines just look cool. 😎

Along with the change to sheet metal siding on the diesel engines, the passenger cars also received a similar treatment. My guess is that metal siding and superstructure were stronger, lighter, and less flammable.

Here we see a more modern bogie compared to the one we saw in the previous LAHP issue. Bogies are hardly noticed by passengers but they carry the locomotive’s drive system (for locomotive bogies), wheel-axle, brakes, suspension system, auxiliary equipment, guidance mechanism, and, of course, carry the weight of all the parts.

Inside of older passenger cars, we note the touch of elegance of stained glass and fine woods and detailing.

Even simple light bulbs take on a feeling of elegance.

Here we see the end of one of the passenger cars which were designed to couple with another passenger car so that passengers could safely move from one car to the next even while the train is in motion.

Next up is a passenger car that served on the Santa Fe Railroad. There were railroads and then there was the Santa Fe. At one time, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was the world's most famous transportation company. In 1948, Fortune magazine named it the Nation's Number One Railroad.

The Santa Fe was the vision of Colonel Cyrus K. Holliday and brought to life through the relentless efforts of William Barstow Strong.

This railroader is often overshadowed by names like Gould, Harriman, Huntington, and Vanderbilt but his unyielding work established the only transcontinental route from Chicago to Southern California.

Here we see a baggage car from the Southern Pacific Lines, one of America's most successful and widely recognized railroads. Its name stands alongside notables like the Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, and Illinois Central.

When you picture a train car in your head, there's a very good chance a boxcar is the first thing that comes to mind. That's because boxcars are the gold standard of the rail freight world, making up the majority of many trains. Boxcars feature a solid roof and sliding doors in the center of each side, making it easy to load and unload palletized goods and other bulk items.

This is different — a crane which assisted storage operations at a U.S. Army munitions site near Bellemont in northern Arizona.

It was built in 1943 by the American Hoist & Derrick Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. It can lift 25 tons, is self-propelled by its 100-hp diesel engine. Initially stationed at the Raritan Arsenal in New Jersey, it was later moved to the Navajo Army Depot, west of Flagstaff. While there, it ran on 38 miles of track serving 800 storage bunkers holding bombs, rockets, and artillery shells.

The crane was later sold to the Valley Steel and Supply Company of Tempe, where it served until 1995. Subsequently, they donated it to the museum.

Wrecking cranes, also called "derricks" or "big hooks", did the heavy lifting after a railroad accident such as derailment.

This oil-burning, steam-powered wrecker was built in 1910 by Industrial Works of Bay City, Michigan, for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It can lift up to 120 tons for placing locomotives and cars back on the track following an accident. It is not self-propelled, thus requiring an assisting locomotive for movement. During its active years, it spent its entire career in Tucson, where it was used in wreck train service until being retired in 1989.

It was purchased by the museum and arrived in 1992. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com