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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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The Red Caboose: 1943

The Red Caboose: 1943

Chicago & North Western RR worker putting the finishing touches on a rebuilt caboose on the rip tracks at Proviso Yard, Chicago. April 1943. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

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Rip tracks

RIP track
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A RIP track (RIP is an acronym for repair in place) is a designated track or tracks in a rail yard where locomotives and/or railroad cars are set out for minor repairs without removing the units from service, sometimes without even removing a freight load from the car. In some yards, a RIP track may be used for staging locomotives or "bad order" cars for major repairs. Some yards may have more than one RIP track to serve both functions.

Jack Delano

Jack Delano was not a railfan per se. I am not sure he was even particularly a photographer by trade. He was a beneficiary of government funds during the FDR era. Fortunately he was sensitive to the drama of the railroads.
Interestingly, some years ago I attended a concert by a Cuban clarinet / saxophone player named Paquito d'Rivera. The music was more or less jazz/classical fusion and one of the pieces was composed by Jack Delano, who moved to Puerto Rico after the war. So Delano was a true artist in more ways than one.
Dave Nelson

American railway jargon is a

American railway jargon is a bit of a mystery to me. Can you tell me what "rip tracks" are?

Re: Kodachrome

yes, i have noticed most of the pictures taken in the 40s that i have seen on this site are more crisp than the ones taken now!


Early Kodachrome looked so good. Color film these days has too much contrast.


Great photo, Jack takes really terrific RR pictures, has he ever contributed to Trains or Railfan magazines?

[This picture is over 60 years old ... Jack died 10 years ago at the age of 83. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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