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Burlington Northern Family in Alliance, Nebraska

Barbara and Joel Schaefer, standing  next to a diesel locomotive
The Schafers are a railroad family: Joel and Barbara, his wife, stand smiling next to a Burlington Northern locomotive in Alliance in 1983, as they prepare to take a 106-car coal train from Alliance to Edgemont, South Dakota. Joel's first job with BN was as a carpenter in 1977 but the next year he went into engine service. He retired from BNSF on July 1, 2007. Barbara, who worked on the brakemanís extra board in 1983, is now a locomotive engineer for BNSF. They live in Alliance. Cook took the photo for the BLEís newspaper, The Locomotive Engineer. The image appeared in the Center for Railroad Photography & Art's exhibition at the Carnegie Arts Center in Alliance, Nebraska, in 2008. A retirement picture for Joel also appears on this site.
Source John Bentley, editor, BLE-T
Coverage Spatial, Alliance, Nebraska; Temporal, 1983
Rights Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers-Trainmen
Resource Type
Extent Not available
Depicted Railroad
Location Alliance, Nebraska
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
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