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76 O G A U G E R A I L R O A D I N G J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Holsteins and Heavy Freight Article and Photos by Matt Bushong The year is 1948 in the rural town of Beawslaiw, California, located along the Southern Pacific main line almost halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. At the edge of this central California town with the unusual and somewhat difficult name, James Kenny owns a small but prosperous dairy farm. Along his fence line is a busy Southern Pacific rail siding, which on this day is occupied by a string of empty old wooden boxcars temporar- ily spotted there by one of the road's venerable 0-6-0 switchers (Photo 1). e aging cars will be shuttled to the nearby Skeet and Poogan Freight Company loading dock later in the day and made ready for a long journey south. Mr. Kenny, known as Farmer Jim to the locals, has long been oblivious to the trains passing his farm. After all, they are not just an everyday occurrence, but by virtue of the farm's proximity to the busy main line, trains are pretty much a 24/7 presence. His cows are similarly acclimated and unfazed by the noise and move- ment of passing freight and passenger consists (Photo 2). Farmer Jim still gets around in his somewhat timeworn but always reliable Ford Model A pickup, but his true pride and joy is the new McCormick diesel tractor he recently purchased with extra cash he managed to put aside in these early and somewhat lucrative postwar years (Photos 3 and 4). Having paid off the farm mortgage some years ago, Farmer Jim remains strictly a cash-only kind of guy. After stocking the small, weather-beaten trackside shed with hay bales, he assures that the wind-powered well pump is performing as expected (Photo 5). en Farmer Jim will board the gleaming red tractor and usher his milk-on-the-hoof herd back to a more secure fenced grazing pasture. Soon thereafter, another switcher will return for those boxcars, leaving this scene rather devoid of human or animal activity at least until tomorrow (Photo 6). 1 2

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