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The Sheltering Sky: 1943

The Sheltering Sky: 1943

Santa Fe R.R. trip, March 1943. Section house along the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in the vicinity of Encino, New Mexico. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.


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I walk the line

Up until the mid 1980s the very busy railway line that passes through my town had "sectionmen" doing just exactly that. They carried a spike maul over their shoulder and walked along the track. The foreman had a gasoline track motor car which could be heard put-putting along this line. We even still had the telegraph poles along the right-of-way.

Today that is all gone along with the cabooses on freight trains. Maintenance-of-way personnel now drive fully equipped 3 or 4 ton trucks that are able to use pavement. They are also "tricked out" with a retractable set of steel wheels to take to the rails as needed.

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