Hello Friends and Family,

Arizona Railway Museum, 2022, Part 3

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Most of us think of a limited number of types of railroad rolling stock — locomotives, freight cars, tank cars, passenger cars, and the oh-so-cute caboose. But there are other items such as this locomotive engine which looks almost nothing like what I think of as a locomotive engine. But it is one with an important difference. It is powered by compressed air (with 600 pounds of pressure) so that it could be employed in mine shafts without fear of fire or explosions. It looks tiny but weighs in at more than five tons.

There was no sign explaining the purpose of these black boxes but my guess is that they held coal, and were probably placed on a raised platform. As the train came into the station, the engineer would stop the train exactly at the spot where the coal car was beneath one of these coal boxes, the lever was pulled and coal emptied into the coal car. Your guess?

Again no sign but this little guy looks like a utility engine to push or pull smaller cars to other areas of a station. Who knew that a little engine like this would be a railroad necessity?

These carts are not hard to guess — they probably carried luggage and packages bound for the various destinations. The workers could roll the cart to the baggage car and put the luggage and packages on the train.

This looks like a new acquisition — a passenger car which is being sanded to remove the paint to be followed by a new paint job. Then the interior would have to be refurbished — a task that they will probably leave for cooler weather.

Did you know that tank cars come in two varieties — pressurized cars for carrying gases and non-pressurized cars, such as this one, for carrying liquids. This single-dome tank car was built in 1936 for the Union Tank Car Company. It has a capacity of 6,550 gallons.

This flat-car appears to be an early version of one that carries containers — a mode of moving goods that has grown to be one of the primary businesses of today's railroads. Even the Museum does not have much history on this car and is still researching it.

Ah, our favorite, another caboose, which provided transportation for the rear-end crew usually consisting of a conductor and a brakeman. This car was built quite recently in April, 1978. It features a "wide-vision" cupola so the crew could see around taller freight cars in the train. Incidentally, this caboose is a movie star, having appeared in the movie "Stay Tuned".

Next up is another diminutive locomotive with a gross weight of "only" 40,000 pounds. It was employed at the ASARCO smelter in Hayden, AZ as well as the mine operation at Ray, AZ. The original gasoline engine was replaced by a Cummins diesal engine salvaged from another piece of mining equipment. As a testament to the locomotive's operating reliability, it acquired the nickname "Donkey" from the crew.

KCC 801 is a locomotive built by General Electric and used initially in the building of the Hayden, AZ smelter. Once the smelter was in operation, it was employed for slag disposal. In the mid-1970s, the process was changed so that slag disposal was no longer required and KCC 801 was rebuilt and repurposed for general in-plant switching, continuing in service through 2014. Jake Jacobson at the Copper Basin Railroad acquired the locomotive in 2014. He rebuilt it and repainted to its current appearance then donated it to the Arizona Railway Museum.

Although bogies are relatively small in stature, they are hugely important to railroad operations. The wheel assembly is where the steel hits the steel. Each bogie has two or three wheel assemblies. The end of the assembly rotates in bearings with manual or automatic lubrication to keep everything rolling smoothly. Springs absorb some of the bumps along the tracks to make a more comfortable ride.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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