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Railroad employees checking track. Names listed: D. Sweeney, Tom Linhan, C. Howard, and McKnight. Inscription reads: "Hard workers." Kent station buildings at left background.
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The work train crew posing on the tracks at Kent, 1918. "Often a work train of the 1880s consisted of just the machine and the locomotive, as cabooses were still too scarce to warrant using one on what many managers saw as unnecessary service. As the years went by, it became common practice to attach a caboose, and/or a tool car, to the train. An extra water car was frequently attached to pile driver trains to reduce the number of times the train...
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The D. & R.G. ditcher crew on a work train at Woody Creek, 1917. "Another common type of work train was intended to dig and maintain trackside drainage ditches. The earliest ditching trains used a car with a swinging framework, adjusted by hand, which positioned a toothed, open-ended bucket alongside the track to excavate the ditch as the car was pushed along. This method had many obvious faults. One solution was the steam ditcher, a small steam...