Number 90 posted:
Here are a few photos from late summer, long ago. In Caprock, Texas, most of the businesses are closed by 5:00 PM, but there are always people out and about, taking in a movie, or getting a sundae at the ice cream parlor. Mila Swindle, on her way to see the re-release of Gone With the Wind, did a double-take as Clark W. Griswold and his family (and, yes, including Aunt Edna, bless her heart, secured to the roof rack of the Wagon Queen Family Truxter) tooled past her down Santa Fe Avenue, lost -- I mean lost! Train No. 158, un-named in the timetable, but known to the High Plains Division crews as the Night Crawler, is performing station work.
No. 158 is no glamour queen. Oh, the equipment is typically fine Santa Fe passenger stock, but the Night Crawler makes every station stop, either as a timetable stop or as a flag stop. To accommodate the flag stops, there is quite a bit of dwell time in the schedule at certain stations, and Caprock is one of them. Here, we see No. 158 arriving with a single Alco-GE PA1, the 70L as power. You never know what type of engine will be on the point, as No.158 originates in Clovis and any passenger power on hand, steam or diesel, might show up. The Artho kids rode their bicycles down to the depot after supper, to drink a Coca Cola and watch the evening train activity.
The Arthos are one of the big German farm families whose ancestors homesteaded the Panhandle and high plains of Texas. Russell, Jerry Don, and Dale are accompanied by Ormalene. Mama is not going to have her boys getting into any mischief, and having their sister along will keep them closer to the straight and narrow path. They are looking into brightly lighted chair car 2914, dreaming about occupying one of the seats and leaving the plains for exciting far away places.
Wallace "Machine Gun" White has stepped down from the big Alco and walked back to the Coke Machine for two 6-ounce bottles of Coca Cola. Fireman Homer Smith provided the two dimes for tonight's pause that refreshes. He and Wallace alternate buying the drinks. Homer takes the empty bottles home to his son, who redeems them for two cents apiece at the market. Although the block signal indicates Proceed, the Caprock station departure time is padded, to allow for possibly making all the flag stops, and the 70L will sit, idling unevenly, for another ten minutes. After No.158 departs, the kids will watch Dwight Keesling rev up Alco-GE S2 2357, kick a cut of cars in the yard, and then they'll head home. It's safe for kids to be out at night on their bikes, in Caprock, Texas.
Tom, first of all it's great to see you posting.
Second, I love the story and and the pictures. It made me feel like I was in Caprock, Texas. This is exactly what I love about model railroading, modeling real scenes that have a story based on reality. have you ever thought of being a writer?
Third, unless you have changed your email address, I am doing something wrong when trying to reach you. I saw TW Trainworks pictures of a repair call to your layout this week and wondered how things were going.
Beautiful layout, great picture and story.