about about search support browse contact

Loading Coal at West Decker (editor's title)

On the loading loop at West Decker a Sheridan train of empties is loaded at the steady rate of 1/2 mph.
Burlington Northern locomotive 5522 is on the loading loop at West Decker where empty cars are loaded with coal at the steady rate of 1/2 mph. Trains can be seen at the right and left. They serve the Power River mining district of southern Montana and Northern Wyoming, said to be largest coal district in the United States. The photograph appeared in the "Locomotive Engineer" of the BLE in January 5, 1979.

"Coal makes the Burlington Northern run at Sheridan, Wyoming," accordng to the BLE newspaper of January 5, 1979, and many "rails" are required to make that happen on what is now the Burington Northern Santa Fe.

The speed with which the coal cars are filled demanded refined technology, which is not visible in this photograph.

Cook intended this to be both a portrait of a locomotive and a panorama of the coal operation at West Decker, and he succeeded.
Source John Bentley, editor, BLE-T
Coverage Spatial: West Decker, Wyoming, yards; Temporal, 1978-79
Rights Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers-Trainmen
Date Created 1978 - 1979
Resource Type
Extent Not available
Depicted Railroad
Location West Decker, Wyoming
Train Type Coal train
Equipment, Locomotive C30-7 no. 5522
Builder, locomotive General Electric
Builder, Cars Unknown
Creator Description Richard Cook went to work for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers as a photographer in 1968, retiring as editor of the "Locomotive Engineer" newspaper and director of public relations of the BLE on March 31, 1985. Just prior to his retirement, he was made an honorary member of the BLE, an honor bestowed on a dozen or so individuals in the BLE's 144-year history. The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society recognized him for lifetime achievement in photography in 1992. His obituary in the Cleveland "Plain Dealer" told of his achievements: "He became a professional photographer, managing editor of a photography magazine, railroad switchman, a union chromicler, an author and illustrator of six books about railroading, and, as a result, a respected historian of the industry."
Collection Public Relations Office Collection
Or, go to the Search Page
You can search the photos and collections using the links at the top, or log in to use the Forums and other features of the site.
Create a Login
Forget your password?


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

  About Copyright © 2013 Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Major support provided by the North American Railway Foundation