Camp Cars – Part 1

During his trip out west on the Santa Fe in March of 1943, Jack Delano’s train had a stop in Iden, New Mexico. Iden is located between Clovis and Vaughn, and is rather isolated. A few weeks ago we saw a photograph of a section gang doing some track alignment in Iden. While there Mr. Delano also recorded some images of the camp cars of the work train that the workers were assigned to.

The scene below is inside one of the bunk cars where these men rested when off duty. It’s not too fancy, but does have heat, along with a table and chair(s). At least one kerosene lamp is visible over one of the bunks. And speaking of bunks, those look virtually identical to the ones I enjoyed while employed by the Marines back in the ’60s . . . some things didn’t change much between those decades! 🙂

Inside an AT&SF Bunk Car

And below we have the commissary car. Here workers could acquire the various supplies needed during their stay in this remote area. Just about any clothing was available, from head to toe. And one could buy toothpaste and a brush, medical supplies such as Bayer aspirin, Ex-Lax and Vicks, and more. For comfort, you had a choice of pipes and a variety of tobaccos, or cigarettes (Lucky Strike seems to be the brand most often purchased). And if you had the time, you could enjoy a few games using the Bicycle playing cards. The store’s clerk is Mr. J.E. Straight of Newton, Kansas.

Inside an AT&SF Commissary Car