Portraying the various types of work and special challenges that occur along the rails of the Alaska Railroad
Until the early 90's, gas cars (aka motor cars) were the only rail
vehicle available to track crews as hy-rails were very rare and only
assigned to senior officers. This photo was taken in 1980 at Dome
while putting the car on the track using the turntable. Dome can be
a very cold location and during cold snaps (up to 50 below) it was
not unusual for the lubricants to become so stiff that the car could
hardly pull more than second gear. There was nothing quite like having
the wind blow up and around the cloth curtain at cold temperatures
while making a long and torturous trip back to the section house after
getting sweaty while working.
The larger cars had shocks (A-6's) but, the standard section cars were A-4's and didn't. What really made them hard on the butt though was the fact that you sat on wood!