Hello Friends and Family,

Arizona Railway Museum, 2022, Part 4

Link to the web version by clicking here.

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Wandering around the Arizona Railway Museum provides the visitor a close-up look at the equipment that you can only see at a distance in a commercial railyard. Pictured here is a coupler — which you probably guessed links two cars together — an essential part needed to create a train. Older couplers required manual linking and unlinking — a practice that was both time-consuming and dangerous to railroad workers.

In the late 19th century, the knuckle coupler was invented and worked to automatically couple two cars together. It has undergone several iterations in design but is basically the standard design still used today.

Here we see the knuckle coupler not coupled to another car, showing the locking mechanism.

Ding, ding, ding — what is that noise? Oh, the warning bell is telling us that a train is approaching an automobile or pedestrian crossing (but not really in this case). The real ones automaticly detect the train's approach — this one has a button on the side of the control box — and visitors are invited to push the button. Adults do it one time. Children do it over and over and over...

Here we see another of the utility locomotives as I described previously. There was no sign but to me it looks like it uses a diesel motor for propulsion.

Next up is a fullsize diesel locomotive. It looks like it is awaiting a complete restoration. It especially needs a new paint job.

As the sun continued to bear down on us, we noticed that the line of passenger cars on the left track were open for inspection. We even encountered a guide to give us the full tour. At least we would be out of the heat of the sun.

Looking at this shot, I am amazed at how much this passenger car layout resembles that of modern passenger planes.

But here is one difference — the Santa Fe Railroad used native art on walls to give passengers the real Southwest experience.

One thing that passenger jets do not have (thankfully) is a smoking room. And note the blinds covering the windows. Without air conditioning, they were an attempt to keep the interiors comfortable. Nice try but it was still quite warm inside.

This passenger car's interior looks more like what a private aircraft might employ (although the decour would be updated to more modern tastes). Note the figures painted on the wall panel.

And here is a close-up of one of those figures, again with a Native American motif.

Here is my favorite decor item — a clear glass panel divider with an image of a Native American chieftan etched into the glass. It is a bit ghostly. I love it.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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