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One of the Finest
20" x 30", Acrylic on Canvas, 2009
Hans Kleiner Collection

On a summer day in 1962 Northern Pacific train #26, the eastbound Vista-Dome North Coast Limited is well into
its journey across the Main Street of the Northwest as it makes its scheduled stop in Livingston, Montana. A
minor mishap with a boxcar in the yard has forced No. 26 to make its station stop a little farther west then its
usual "spot" by Martin's Cafe--not an inconvenience to coach passengers. Sectionmen will have the problem
cleared in time for No. 26 to depart on-schedule. Pausing only for a few minutes the train is quickly serviced and
the diesel locomotive units up front are exchanged for cleaned and fully fueled ones.  In the midst of all this
activity Stewardess-Nurse Karen Walt, coach attendant Palton Robinson and conductor Jimmy Quinn have a
moment to enjoy a quick chat. Using a dome washing rig built locally in the Livingston shops, two carmen or “car
knockers” as they were known on the railroad, make sure the windows on dome coach #556 are cleaned for the
scenery to be enjoyed by all. After finding his assigned car a young boy in one of the windows below waves
goodbye to his grandparents. Meanwhile more passengers board stainless steel Slumbercoach #326 “Loch
Leven”, all knowing they’re in the good hands of the men and women of the NP.
Copyright © 2017 David A. Oram