Spotlight Hobbies

Large railrods do. In the earlier eras, they were essential in the railyards where there was a lot of acreage . . . MORE . . .

Railroads with large railyards - many converging tracks and sidings in hub towns, maintenance facilities, roundtables, storage facilities and freight transfer stations - especially needed their own small, maneuverable fire trucks. Grass and weeds grow everywhere and florish around and between tracks and buildings. Steam locomotives were notorious for throwing cinders and sparks which frequently - very frequently - ignited very troublesome grass fires. The railroads couldn't afford to let a railyard or switching yard fire get large. Thus, they had their own firetrucks and firemen (aside from the 'firemen' on the locomotives who shoveled coal).

The AT&SF pumper we have [I work at the Hall of Flame] was a gift to the museum owner when he retired from the AT&SF Board of Directors. The joke is that they didn't have any gold watches so they just gave him a firetruck as a retirement gift. This little gem is FAR more valuable than any gold watch!

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