Conductor Boarding His Caboose

Jack Delano also spent some time visiting the Illinois Central facilities while in Chicago. It’s November of 1942, and Jack spied this conductor hopping aboard his caboose as it was pulling out of a yard track for it’s southward journey. He’ll likely settle in place at his desk, with a cup of hot java handy . . . there is still paper work to do during the ride.

Conductor Boarding Caboose

Smokebox Inspection & Repairs

Jack Delano visited the Chicago and North Western railroad’s locomotive backshop in December of 1942. Shown here are a couple workers doing inspection and repairs to a steam locomotive. Opening the smokebox was an important part of the inspection, as it enabled the mechanic to see the tube ends for the boiler, as well as the exhaust components for the steam cylinders. The worker on the left appears to be an electrician performing some work on a class light.

Smokebox Work, C&NW RR -1942

Water, Sand and Fuel

Steam locomotives have a voracious appetite, and they visit the servicing facilities quite often. Here we see a line of the beasts as they replenish their supply of water, sand and coal. This is the Chicago and North Western’s coaling stage in the Proviso yard located in Chicago, Illinois. Photographer Jack Delano captured this image in December of 1942.

C&NW Coaling Stage

The U.P. “George Bush 41”

Word was floating around that the Union Pacific’s #4141 was parked over at the U.P. yard in Addis, Louisiana today. This is the locomotive that pulled the funeral train of the late President George H. W. Bush to Texas during his recent funeral. Naturally I felt compelled to investigate, so my friend Ron Findley and I headed over across the Mississippi River late this morning. Arriving in Addis, we found the prize, along with locomotive #1943, the “Spirit of the Union Pacific”.

Here’s the U.P. #4141, the “George Bush 41” parked at the edge of the yard for all to see:

UP #4141 "George Bush 41"

This locomotive is an Electro-Motive SD70ACe, and it was manufactured in Canada in June, 2005. Below is a close-up view of the cab. The Bush Presidential Library plaque is seen on the side of the hood.

UP #4141 "George Bush 41" Cab

The weather in this area has been terrible lately, with thunderstorms and such almost daily. But today we were rewarded with sun and beautiful blue skies . . . perfect weather for a bit of railfanning.

The 4141 was paired with another interesting locomotive, an SD70AH #1943, and it’s named “Spirit of the Union Pacific”. This locomotive pays tribute to our military.

UP #1943 "Spirit of the Union Pacific"

And below is a close-up view of the rear of the 1943. Note the POW-MIA remembrance.

UP #1943 - POW*MIA

This pair of locomotives is indeed an impressive sight, and I’m thrilled that we were fortunate to see them. Even though the U.P. has published that the locomotives are touring their system for their employees to view, they were very hospitable to the crowd of “civilians” that encroached upon their property today.

New Meets the Old

One of those new newfangled diesels meets a steam locomotive at the Chicago Union Station. The time is January of 1943, and that modernistic train is the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy’s Denver Zephyr.  This train ran between Chicago and Denver, with service commencing in 1936,  and running until 1973.  The route was 1,034 miles and the train generally covered the distance in 16 ~ 16-1/2 hours.

Photo by Jack Delano

Steam and diesel engine at the Union Station, Chicago, Ill.

Washing the #3034

Jack Delano has ventured down to the locomotive servicing facilities to see what goes on there.  And here we see Viola Sievers washing down the running gear of C&NW steamer #3034 at the end of its run.  Washing the locomotives was not only for the pride of the fleet, but also so that the machine could be properly inspected for problems and defect.

With the war going, the manpower shortage created thousands of jobs for the women, and they stepped up to even the toughest and dirtiest jobs that had to be done.

Viola Sievers Washing #3034