Santa Fe Freight Departing Corwith Yard

Back over at the AT&SF Corwith yard in Chicago, Jack Delano photographed a Santa Fe freight train preparing to depart the yard. It’s March of 1943, and obviously it’s pretty chilly there. The locomotive, #3266, is a Baldwin built 2-8-2.

A curious thing I noticed is what appears to be a blue flag on the side of the locomotive. In zooming in on the original image, the flag is supported by a steel arm or bracket. I’m familiar with a flag between the rails used to protect a worker, but don’t recall seeing one on the side like this. I’ll venture a guess that perhaps the engineer places this flag while oiling around. With the heavy shroud of steam vapor emitting from the machine, it would be quite easy to get “lost” in the cloud while working up close to the valve gear. If anyone knows the correct answer, please add a comment to enlighten the rest of us.

Santa Fe Freight Departing Corwith Yard

3 thoughts on “Santa Fe Freight Departing Corwith Yard

  1. Looking at my 1929 Missouri Pacific Rule book with changes upto 1938, Rule 26 states:
    26. A blue signal displayed at one or both ends of an engine, car or train indicates that workmen are under or about it; when thus protected it must not be coupled to or moved. Each class of workmen will display the blue signals and the same workmen are alone authorized to remove them. Other equipment must not be placed on the same track so as to intercept the view of the blue signals, without first notifying the workmen.

    I imagine that the workmen put the flag in this location so it could be seen by the engineer and other personnel.

  2. Yep, George, what you’re saying is my understanding also. I’ve never seen a blue flag on the side of a locomotive like this is displayed (assuming it IS a flag). But then, it would be easy for the engineer or fireman to see when seated at the controls. I think it would also be very easy to not see a person working close to the locomotive on a cold day like this due to the amount of steam vapor present.

    Hope you had no problems with the severe weather yesterday!


  3. T H A N K S Jack,
    Nice pic, but didn’t need a reminder of what we have here in Oklahoma today.
    Just kidding,
    Spring is going to be late up here.
    Was going to pick up my potting soil and tomato and bell pepper plants to start my pot garden under my car port.
    Have had freeze warnings for a few days now.
    Jack Delano must have gotten a kick out of the cold weather at times!
    Stay safe and an eye in the sky.

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