The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on December 28, 1967 · Page 10
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 10

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 28, 1967
Page 10
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They have seen the high mountain ranges of California, rolled through the desert lands of New Mexico and paused for a drink in Idaho's rolling hills. They have felt the drill of Oregon nights and sweltered under the dry heat of Arizona summer. Each day the tread of passengers, the quicker speeds and the newer lives took A little bit of their strength and their value. Throughout the west they have served all their lives. Now, too tired to care what happens, they come with broken bodies, cracked, aged and obsolete, rolling their last miles until, at their final destination, they sit on 1200-foot- long railroad tracks and silently wait. Thus the railroad engines, reefers, gondolas; cabooses, tanks and passenger cars finish their lives at the Purdy Company Steel and Iron Salvage Yard near Mojave, California. They no longer hear the conversations of passengers, the cries of trainmen or the vacant words of vagrant hitchhikers. It has been replaced by men working carefully about them, clearing the interior or turning on the cutting- torches. Couplers, wheels, springs and other solid metals fall away with their memories. Flames give them their final end, their wood sending up black billowing clouds into the bleak desert sky. When the fires die and the smoke drifts away, the men return to cut the metal remains within the wood, joining 3-foot by 18-inch strips together with the other metal for a ride into southern Los Angeles, where a mill forges them anew for other uses to serve the needs of man. A torcliman works on a wheel assembly, breaking it down to movable size. The empty shell of what was once a silver bullet on land Only metal remains to be cut into size for shipping The last moments tor a Southern Pacific freight car 'Jf^tyy &%&?**. -A ^^^e, m *^ #> ><*>* Patterns of springs form a miniature mountain. t Once burned, the metal roof is lifted away for cutting This Week's PICTURE.SHOW by AP Photographer David F. Smith

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