Camp Cars – Part 2

Continuing our tour of the Santa Fe work train in Iden, New Mexico, Jack Delano has made his way to the dining facilities. As we saw last week, the berthing facilities and commissary were rather stark, though functional. The kitchen and dining room follow suit.

Below is the view of a cook preparing the dough for bread. The work area is rather austere, but everything needed seems to be close at hand. Baking powder and various other ingredients line the shelves, along with the ever-present cigar box, possibly containing the “secret ingredient” (what would railroaders do without cigar boxes?). Note the wash stand in the foreground . . . a bowl of water and bar of soap. It must be pre-dawn, as the cook is working under the light of a Coleman lantern.

Inside an AT&SF Kitchen Car

And below is the view inside the dining room. It must be near the end of the meal period, as only a few workers are left. I would assume that these folks ate a pretty hearty breakfast considering the hard work ahead of them each day. Unlike the military, it appears that a busboy was employed to pick up the worker’s dishes at the end of the meal.

Inside an AT&SF Dining Car

Photographs by Jack Delano, March, 1943.