Photo of the Day Mystery

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Photo of the Day Mystery
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 12:57 AM

Todays Photo of the Day with the M&St.L Mogul ,....what in tarnation is that thing behind the tender? Am I seeing something wrong? Is it part of the train? 

An engineer and his steed

A Minneapolis & St. Louis engineer poses with his engine, Mogul 304, in mid-1946. He’s waiting at Minerva Junction, Iowa, to take his mixed train off the Story City Branch and on to the main line for the return to Marshalltown.
William F. Armstrong photo

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 4:56 PM

Appears to be a flat car loaded with ties, perhaps a MOW car of some type? The bracing would indicate the car is only about half full as pictured. Perhaps they were dropping off ties at spots along the line that were going to be repaired.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:25 PM

Maybe it was wash day and they used the timberwork for drying their coveralls?  Smile, Wink & Grin

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 11:46 AM

Well Penny it would seem yours is the best explanation! 

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:25 PM

I agree that it is a flat car in MOW service.  Appears to be equipped with a wrench to unload ties or perhaps even rail along the ROW.  Do we have any more takers?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 7:23 PM

Well, with that rack on the car I thought it might be a clearance measuring car, but jeez, that picture was taken in flat-as-a-pancake, tunnel-less (I think), no major terrain featured Iowa, so what would they need a clearance car for?

No disrespect to any Iowans out there, "Land Where The Tall Corn Grows."

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Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:24 PM

Page 6 - Contributors - William F. Armstrong

Page 58 - M&StL's Story City Branch by William F. Armstrong

Page 63 -

Page 86 - The story behind the Story City story by Rob McGonigal

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, June 22, 2017 12:11 PM

Got to love the charm of the M&STL. This is a part of railroading and Americana that has truly disappeared. It was a familiar site and not that long ago either as many of us still can recall although we are the last and our ranks are getting pretty thin. 

So many branch lines gone. I still maintain they were useful and better than trucks. Someday there will be regrets. I know I'm off in a little rubber dinghy in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with this thinking and also it's easy to shoot a hole in my little rubber dinghy but a pox on those who think these losses were beneficial. 



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