The loco is way rusty because this shot is from the mid ‘fifties, when UP used them as backup engines for one last season and spit and polish wasn’t a big deal. It’s kind of like all the old barns in the country that are still used, but the farmers haven’t got the time or money to afford to paint.
A repeated scene I never forgot from my childhood occurred after my family moved from northeast Minneapolis to Richfield. We always ran back and forth from my grandparents Mpls. homestead to the new house in the ‘burbs, and that always took us past the Milwaukee Road and Soo Line yards. Day or night we saw heavy cranes and men with cutting torches tearing down the great steam locomotives and their tenders. It was as awesome a sight as it was depressing since nearly all of the adults in my extended family were railroad men throughout the transition from steam to diesel.
My father broke from the family tradition and started with Northwest Airlines when he returned from the war. He used to tell me that our future was in the air. That proved to be true. However, I still go out of my way to see or ride trains every chance I’m given.
…after WW II returned from building airplanes in LA to work for twenty years on the Soo Line as a yard- and switchman. Maglys made their home in the Camden neighborhood of North Minneapolis, and of course when I was little I was disappointed that “Uncle Magly” wasn’t a traindriver….
“Why, you hard-to-please little sonofabitch….” he used to chuckle. But, he gave me presents and was really a good uncle therefore, he just sounded sort of fierce when he talked.