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April 17, 2009
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Switching the Mail by classictrains Switching the Mail by classictrains
Somebody asked me the other day what it took to get me to scan and post more pictures. :-)

Well Hoyt :iconherrdrayer: reminded me of the GN orange and then the picture I posted a few minutes ago of the deteriorating UPY switcher made me think about what switchers used to be like.

This "simplified" GN scheme wasn't the pretty orange and green with a gold dividing stripe. It was closer to a black and not nearly so pretty.

This Great Northern "goat" pulls the mail cars off the front of arriving streamliners in Seattle and moves them over to the mail dock. Summer 1968.
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:icon8legs:
8legs Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The first car looks like a UP car, Grey on top and bottom then a Red line again on top and bottom with yellow in the center, Second car is an R.E.A. probably built in late 40's or mid 50's.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Yup.
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:icon8legs:
8legs Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I always thought that was interesting part of the business but no one really seemed to document real well, that and Milk trains filled a vital role--my feeling.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
I loved to watch these guys solve switching puzzles. I live by a BNSF branch and it's interesting to see a train come through with 3 hoppers and an engine on both ends because they need it to get into all the spurs.
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:icon8legs:
8legs Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What did they do in Steam days? More complex track and more industry, what happened then? surely the company couldn't afford to send two steam engines for a local job.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
This particular branch used to be double-ended, connecting the C&NW in West Chicago with the CB&Q in Aurora. In those days it was worked from both ends and it wasn't an issue. The UP has since severed their end leaving spurs that cannot be reached any other way.
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:icon8legs:
8legs Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I was wondering, but still to have dispatch two loco's. Is the branch healthy enough to support an operation as such?
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
it's just one crew... they switch the branch almost every day. It's usually a full shift that serves a lot of small-ish industry plus a General Mills cereal plant. It's nice cuz I can catch them on the scanner from my house when I hear them whistling for the grade crossings in town.
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:iconshenanigan87:
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Heh, yeah, I remember asking you that, but I don't know enough about railroads over at your place to ask about something specific :XD:

But as long as others ask, I can just sit back and wait ;)
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009
As you see, it's often not something specific. It's usually something someone says that reminds me of something entirely different. Although earlier someone asked me about the UP DD40 and I'm looking right now for a specific picture I've been thinking of posting for a year or more.
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