burlington railroad


BN C30-7 5087 by Chuck Zeiler
Via Flickr:
Burlington Northern Railroad C30-7 5087 at Clyde, Illinois on an unknown day in April 1980, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler.


CB&Q Alco S2 9307 by Chuck Zeiler
Via Flickr:
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Alco S-2 9307 at Denver, Colorado on August 20, 1964, Ektachrome by Chuck Zeiler. Built March 1944 (c/n 69871) on order S1889, it was retired October 1969 and scrapped. It is pictured assembling the eastbound Denver Zephyr. I happened to be a passenger on the Colorado Springs connection of this train. Upon arrival in Denver of the connection from Colorado Springs, the cars were switched into the waiting DZ, and the train re-assembled for its overnight run to Chicago, thus allowing me time to get off and snap this photo. The following is excerpted from the Burlington Route Historical Society’s Bulletin # 2, edited by F. Hol Wagner: At the start of World War II, the three major U.S. manufacturers of diesel locomotives offered or were preparing to offer a full line of motive power - passenger, freight and switching. In 1942 however, the War Production Board’s Transportation Equipment Branch assumed control over the country’s production facilities and soon decided that production of passenger locomotives should be suspended for the duration of the war. The WPB’s General Limitation Order No. 97 (adopted April 4, 1942) further ordered Electro-Motive Division to halt switcher production and to concentrate on manufacture of its proven freight locomotive, the FT. Both Alco and Baldwin were restricted to the manufacture of all of the switchers (the restriction was to 1000 or less horsepower locomotives) needed by America’s railroads, and production of road freight power in Schenectady and Eddystone was suspended until 1945. So it was when the Q found itself in dire need of additional switching power in 1942, the road turned not to EMD, from which it had received 43 switchers (both 600 and 1000 horsepower designs) since 1937, but instead to the WPB. The Washington bureaucrats cared not about standardization, minimization of parts inventory, or operating characteristics; they simply doled out switchers to railroads as the units were turned out by Alco and Baldwin. Of the 39 switchers allotted to the Q during the war, 30 were built by Baldwin, with the remaining nine coming from Alco. The Alco S-2’s were numbered 9300-9308 and were equipped with the Model 539 inline six-cylinder turbocharged 1000 horsepower prime mover. They rode on Alco’s unique Blunt trucks and featured General Electric electrical components, which accounts for their billing as “Alco-GE” products. Delivered in three orders, the first two S-2’s (built on order S1885) arrived in April 1943, and were assigned to service in and around Chicago. Units 9302-9305 (built on order S1915) arrived in December 1943, and were placed in service at Lincoln. The final units of the group, 9306-9308 (built on order S1889), came in March 1944. Number 9306 joined its four sisters at Lincoln, while 9307-9308 were assigned to Chicago. In November 1944, all the Chicago units except 9308 moved west to Lincoln, replaced in the Windy City by new Baldwin VO-1000’s. And so the situation remained until after the war. In 1948, when EMD switchers were once again being delivered, all the S-2’s moved further west. Units 9302 and 9306 took up residence in Alliance, and the other seven went to Denver, where they would remain for the rest of their careers on the Q. The two units in Alliance moved to Denver in 1958, and for the first time, all nine S-2’s were assigned to the same location, much to the relief of the Stores Department. Considerably lighter than their Baldwin and EMD counterparts (231,890 lbs., versus 241,620 lbs. for a VO-1000, and 249,900 lbs. for a pre-war NW-2), the 9300’s were still popular with engine crews and moved their share of tonnage in the yards and industrial districts of both Lines East and Lines West. They were also frequently used as passenger switchers. Twenty Five years is the most commonly cited figure for the economic lifespan of a diesel switcher, and so it was with the 9300’s. They were all retired in 1969.


Brainard, Iowa
Population: Unincorporated

“Brainard, near the west line of the township. is a little hamlet up the Otter, hemmed in by rugged hills on all sides. It was the place chosen for a home by some of the earliest pioneers, and probably had more inhabitants in the fifties than it has ever had since. In very early days this place was called “Tinkertown,” because nearly every man was some kind of a mechanic. 

They promptly built their log shops and prepared for business, but the patrons were few, as the place was well nigh inaccessible by reason of the hills and timber. When the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota railroad was built up the valley, a station was established at “Tinkertown,” to catch the timber trade, and a man named Brainard was placed in charge of the station. This was probably the origin of the new name. Mr. Brainard was succeeded in the 1870′s by R. W. Helm, who became at once stock buyer, station agent, postmaster and merchant. He purchased large tracts of timber land, cut off the timber and improved the land, combining this work with his other various enterprises and became wealthy. He owned several good farms in territory adjacent to Brainard, mostly made from land which was cleared and improved under his personal supervision. 

For years Mr. Helm furnished employment for many men and teams, and thus became recognized as a kind of benefactor among the poor people with whom the Otter creek valley abounds. His general store (the only one in the place), with its post-office attachment, is a rendezvous for the inhabitants for miles around. But Mr. Helm was not the only man who profited by the establishment of a railroad station at Brainard. Joseph Patterson, the Crafts. John Bracken and other well to do farmers in the community, took advantage of the opportunities, and shipped immense quantities of wood and other forest products from the station, and thus the hill sides and rocky glens have become denuded of their original covering of excellent timber, and. where the land was available, improved farms have resulted.”


CB&Q Business Car THE ROUND-UP by Chuck Zeiler
Via Flickr:
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad business car, named THE ROUND-UP, eastbound on Train # 10, the Denver Zephyr at Naperville, Illinois on July 30, 1965, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler. Built as solarium lounge observation 570 for the Spokane Portland & Seattle by Barney & Smith in 1915, it was purchased in 1934 by the CB&Q and numbered 220 and named Mississippi. In 1936, it was rebuilt as a solarium parlor for use on subsidiary Colorado & Southern’s train 31-32, the Zephyr Connection, and on the left side it was named Cheyenne, and on the right side it was named Denver. During WWII it was converted to a chair car and numbered 4811. During February 1946, it was converted back to its original configuration and name/number (220-Mississippi). Two months later, at this very spot, headed in the opposite direction, it was involved in a disasterous collision between the Advance Flyer and the Exposition Flyer. It was removed to the shops in Aurora, where it sat derelict for several years until it was pulled into the shops and sheathed in stainless steel for conversion to a business car. It emerged from the shops during January 1953 still a heavyweight car (201,900 pounds), and named The Round-Up. It became the BN The Round-Up, and was sold to the Canadian National April 1972. It was sold by the CN to Bombardier Ltd., and re-sold to Ron Salisbury, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Bussey, Iowa
Population: 422

“Jesse Bussey, originally from Greene County, Pennsylvania, bought the land for the town of Bussey in 1867. He laid out the town of Bussey on the line of the Albia, Knoxville and Des Moines Railroad in 1875, the same year the line was acquired by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Mr Bussey went into the lumber and grain business there. By 1880, the population was close to 100, with four general merchandise stores and one drug store. The town was incorporated in 1895. There were some problems with the initial incorporation, so a second vote was held in 1899, after which James Bussey was elected as the first mayor.”

Burlington Northern Railroad
» EMD GP9 BN engine facility.
» Tacoma, Washington, USA
» February, 1975
Locomotive No./Train BNSF 1853

Oops! BN GP9 1853 stubbed its toe at the Tacoma turntable, and several unhappy BN employees get the privilege of getting her back on track. I don’t envy the guy underneath the coupler! 1853 began life as NP 227.


CB&Q E8 9943B by Chuck Zeiler
Via Flickr:
Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad E8 9943B & 2-8-2 Class O-1-A 4960 at Aurora, Illinois on June 26, 1965, Koadchrome by Chuck Zeiler.


Goin’ nose ta nose.. by Zeolite C O
Via Flickr:
Burlington Route EMD E8 locomotives at Clyde Yard in Cicero, Illinois