Towards the end, the Northern Pacific had some beautiful boxcars. Surprisingly, there has not been many of their cars available from the high-quality manufacturers. My favorite scheme that I wish to highlight, is their pine tree green scheme.
Above represents West Texas railroading to a “t” in the 1970s–one boxcar here, a covered hopper or two there, a gondola here, etc. It featured a lot of one or two car shipments. We will see more of that as we venture further south in the next post.
South of Pecos sits a quarry which has been at various times a very important source of traffic for the railroad. Below are images our photographer captured around the quarry in the late 1970s. It remains today today but has changed sides of the highway since these photos.
See that light gray building to the left? I was recently in Alexandria, VA. I knew this area on the Potomac waterfront was slated for substantial “tourist and quality of life” changes. I figured that building’s days were numbered so I had to check it out.
Alexandria Marine Service and Sales has been in business for 64 years. The locally-owned store sells new and used boat engine parts and also fixes outboard engines. The shop is located right on the Old Town waterfront. The Potomac river flows right behind the building. A beautiful and rustic setting.
Check out the width of those walls. I hope they continue to use this building with the waterfront development. It would be tragic to see this solid structure come down.
I wish we could learn to re-develop neat areas like this without losing places like this. It is so organic.
Service yard where motors are (or perhaps sadly were) brought in. It will likely be a great project that Alexandria has planned with cool restaurants and a boutique hotel, but can’t we leave a little room for authentic businesses that have nothing to do with tourism?
I know, I know, the real estate is too valuable. OK. Just saying. However, a business like this gives the area a sense of authenticity that is missing with many re-developments.
Enjoy this “organic” business structure while you can and try to capture them when you see a little jewel like this. Sadly, I think a warehouse a couple of blocks away that still receives boxcars off the CSX is also slated to be “re-developed.”
The three green dots show boxcars in 2014 in downtown Alexandria just a couple of blocks from Alexandria Marine.
Street view. Green dot shows box car spotted at Robinson Terminal #1. Again, the waterfront redevelopment will likely be a very popular project with many benefits. I just wish we could save a little of the organic quality of our living spaces. Buildings that help people make a living unrelated to tourism can be special in their own way. We need to get development professionals to be more sensitive to this.
ATSF 621056 in Bethlehem PA, October 12, 2007–Photo by Richard Leonhardt. Many ATSF cars similar to this one delivered beer to the Budweiser Distributor in Roswell in the early 1990s, often in cuts of 3 or 4 cars.