CB&Q F3 160A  Contributor's Pick!       
The Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad depot at Barstow, Illinois, was located in the middle of a wye, seen here on August 28, 1966, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler. Also pictured is CB&Q F3 160A on Train #88. My friend Chris Burritt passed away on January 7, 2008, and I started looking at photos I have that may have him in them, and they bring back memories. He is pictured here in the shadows of the depot, performing the roll-by inspection of the train, as required by his job. This train movement was called a saw-by. Train #88 fit into the siding, but the other train (with the Great Northern car) did not. So #88 pulled into the siding short of the switch at the other end. The other train then pulled forward behind #88 and continued, dragging its rear end clear of #88.

Here is another story to go with this photo. Folks who know Chris probably know him for his film work, but he also held a job on the CB&Q railroad in the summer of 1966. I tagged along as Chris worked at Galva, Barstow, and Moline, Illinois as a relief telegraph operator, substituting for the regular operators as they took their vacation time off. We would sit in the station at Galva, Chris would be in communication with the train dispatcher, and would write train orders and hand them up to passing trains using a hoop (actually, a Y-shaped device). The trains didn't stop, and it was Chris's duty to stand close to the tracks and hold the hoop in such a fashion that a crew member could reach out of the passing train and grab the orders. This would happen twice per train, the locomotive crew and the conductor behind would both need to grab orders, so Chris had to throw the first hoop aside after the first set of orders were picked up and get the second hoop into position. This produced a lot of excitement in a short period of time, usually followed by a few hours of utter boredom as nothing happened until the next train passed. One of the interesting things we did to pass the time was to make wagers as to when the next milk can would explode. Local farmers would bring their milk to the station in Galva in those large cans that are now collectible antiques. If the farmer was late and missed the train, the cans would sit out in the sun most of the day. On a really hot day, the top would blow off a can from the pressure of heated milk, and the station and platform would be covered in some of the foulest smelling substance we ever experienced. It certainly wasn't milk when it erupted from the can. Just to survive, we hosed the mess down with water. When Chris was assigned to Galva, we would eat at the local diner. There we met two young women, and struck up an acquaintance. Although we were both 18 at the time, neither of us knew what to do next. Chris was more worldly, since he went to a co-ed high school. But I was in prep school at the time, studying to be a Benedictine Monk. That didn't pan out, but I didn't know it at the time of this photo. In fact, the few weeks spent with Chris on the railroad that summer probably changed the course of my life.

Date: 8/28/1966 Location: Barstow, IL   Map Show Barstow on a rail map Views: 8213 Collection Of:   Chuck Zeiler
Locomotives: CBQ 160A(F3A)   Rolling Stock: CBQ station (Other/Not Listed) Author:  Chuck Zeiler
CB&Q F3 160A
Picture Categories: Roster,Scenic,Yard,Station,Action This picture is part of album:  CB&Q Freight Diesels
User Comments
Name Type Comments Date
Jim Gavin General Excellent shot. Hope you have a lot more to post. 3/12/2008 9:00:13 PM
Rick Morgan General Absolutely gorgeous stuff- thanks for posting. 3/13/2008 2:15:37 PM
Tim Huemmer General Neat story! 3/21/2008 5:44:52 PM
Sean Kolker General Awesome pre-BN picture,and loved the story. 42 years from now I know a friend of mine and I will have stories and pictures of our railroad careers,I`m in no hurry. May your friend rest in piece. Thanks for posting! 3/28/2008 11:49:34 PM
J. Williams General Great Shot!, Thanks! 4/4/2008 1:53:15 PM
Randy Kotuby General Classic phot and a great memory. Thanks for sharing. 7/13/2008 9:42:18 AM
Gregg Bartley General Great story... 8/14/2008 4:59:01 PM
Douglas Hildebrandt General Nice shot and story 1/23/2009 1:36:02 AM
Jacob Nelson General Great photo and story, too bad this isn't a Editor Pick! 2/11/2009 5:51:01 PM
Robert Ball General An absolutely classic picture. Brings back great memories. Thanks for posting and adding a wonderful story! 7/4/2009 9:29:22 PM
Fred Goff General Days of great railroading. 12/9/2009 11:15:18 PM
Bob Mattson General Chris and I went to Oak Park River Forest High School together. We spent our first year of College at Columbia in Chicago. Chris stayed but I moved to another school. We spent the summers working for the CB&Q as relief operators in the mid to late 60's. The relief summer work was a real adventure, to say the least. Places like Barstow at 2:30am, in the dark and alone had a real feel for old time railroading! 12/10/2009 11:19:46 AM
C H General great story and picture of CB&Q 12/13/2009 5:47:48 PM
William H. Davis Jr. General Good shot 2/22/2010 6:09:36 PM
Jim Satterwhite General Thanks for sharing memories of how railroading used to be 40+ years ago. Scenes like this were repeated daily throughout our great land. Nicely composed photo of pre-BNSF days. 4/1/2010 2:02:15 PM
Mike Maskel General nice shot 12/21/2011 12:50:40 PM
Jim Vivian General Great shot of the 'Q' and narrative. 4/16/2012 12:15:37 AM
Chuck Zeiler General Thanks to all, and thanks to Chris. 9/9/2012 11:01:42 PM
Anthony Sylogye General My name is Anthony Sylogye. It has been really nice viewing your photographs. I never knew my grandfather, but apparently you did. John Sylogye. 3/29/2013 9:49:39 PM
Fred Stuckmann General Amazing shot for the homepage, love the story too. 3/31/2013 11:39:38 PM
joe scherbenco General I've seen this photo & read the story several times: it feels familiar but new, like an old song you haven't heard in a long time, but somehow still manage to know all the words. Like a time-machine, It transports me back to a place I'll never know just for a minute and gives a just a taste of what life was like and is never to be again. As many times as i've viewed & read the story, i'm sure i'll do it again. Thanks to Chuck & Chris. Homepage shot on 11/09/2013. 11/9/2013 12:29:00 PM
Robert Farkas General An "A+" image with a fascinating backstory! 8/17/2015 8:13:52 PM
Patrick McNamara General Fine remembrance of your friend ! Is St. Bede's still open ? 8/29/2015 2:37:40 PM
Chuck Zeiler General When I attended the school it was known as Saint Procopius Academy. The name was later changed to Benet Academy, and I still receive alumni newsletters from them. 8/29/2015 5:47:29 PM
Tom Beckett General Great shot of a once common but now forgotten way of life on the rails, and a great story. Stuff like this is why I enjoy this site. 6/8/2016 3:26:56 AM
Henry Lombard-Hughes General Nice shot. 4/4/2021 2:46:02 AM
Scott Crotwell General Fantastic shot and story! 10/29/2023 5:04:53 PM

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