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West of Fargo: 1939

West of Fargo: 1939

July 1939. "Northern Pacific railroad tracks west of Fargo, North Dakota." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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West of Fargo (East of West Fargo)

Based on the two water towers visible in the distance, I'm guessing that this is taken from the road that was later turned into I-29. Those towers would be the West Fargo stockyards and state fair towers. The road to the far left would become I-94, and today it's solid infill between Fargo and West Fargo, but back then, the communities were miles apart.

That V-Thing

It's Its purpose is to ensure the wheel alignment on the rails prior to a switch.

"West of Fargo"

How about he's looking west from the overpass at 46.93505N 98.1019W?

Presumably the track with the guard rails (that try to keep a derailed train from demolishing the overpass) is the main, and NP decided the siding didn't rate them.


Great photo! Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what that vee-shaped thing is between the rails of the track on the left? And what is it's its purpose? Any of you railroad buffs out there have the answer?

Highway Hypnosis

Better slow down for that curve ahead.

Art Class

These types of photos always remind me of the time way back when I badgered my poor mother in to signing me up for a mail order art class. One of the main chapters covered the importance of perspective, and illustrated the fact with a few pics exactly like this one.

And she was right, I became bored with the whole thing after a few days and spent the rest of the summer riding bikes with my pals. Also, a complete lack of talent may have doomed my career as a budding Renoir.


I love these "exercise in infinity" kind of shots of railroad tracks vanishing off into the horizon. The distance beckons!

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