(This page printed from UtahRails.net, Copyright 2000-2022 Don Strack)

Gordon Cardall Photos

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on April 29, 2017.

Photo Albums

Bamberger Photos -- A total of 154 of Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017.

Utah Idaho Central -- A total of 32 of Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017

Salt Lake City Street Cars -- A total of 17 Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017

Salt Lake & Utah -- A total of 18 Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017

Salt Lake Garfield & Western -- A total of 10 Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017

Emigration Canyon Railroad -- A total of 5 Gordon's photos uploaded March 2017

Bingham Photos (Recent Scans) -- A total of 10 of Gordon's photos, or photos from his collection, were uploaded in March 2017

Gordon Cardall

Gordon wrote the following autobiographical notes:

I was born July 22, 1927 and grew up in the small, rural town of Centerville, Utah. My mother died when I was eight years old, and left me in the care of my father. Consequently, I spent a good deal of my early life finding my own way. I looked around for things to do to occupy my time, and like every other kid in town, I decided to build balsa wood model airplanes, but soon discovered that after all the hours that went into building them it was very discouraging to see them crash into a pile of junk after one two-second flight.

Having had Lionel trains all my young life, I saw a plan of the Indiana Highspeeds in a Model Craftsman magazine and decided to try to build an HO gauge model. A friend of mine helped me get to the Bamberger shops one Sunday, and we measured a couple of cars -- one of them being the old 05 line car. I decided that would be a good place to start because it had such few windows. One day, Bamberger's line car was working in Centerville, so I took my crudely-built model down to show the line car foreman. He liked it very much, as crude as it was, and from then on every time I was trackside (which was a big part of my day every day) he always had his motorman whistle and wave.

At age 15, World War II was in full swing and on May 22 1943, I was waiting at the Bamberger depot to catch a northbound train to the defense plant in Ogden in hopes of finding summer employment, and the southbound line car stopped and the foreman asked me where I was going. When I told him, he said "why don't you go to work for us?" I told him I did not think I was old enough and he said "climb on and lets go down and talk to the old man." He took me into the superintendent's office and said, "I want you to hire this kid." Mr. N. S. Wilsie looked up and asked how old I was and when I answered that I would be 16 in July, he tapped a couple of fingers on his desk and speculated that "It'll take them about that long to catch up with us." I went to work that night on the night freight out of Ogden. As it turned out, four days before my 16th birthday they had to lay me off until my birthday.

I worked one week and one day as a trolley boy on the night freight out of Ogden. At that time Bamberger acquired its diesel, an RS1. They were awarded this priority because it was available with a steam generator and they were moving troop trains to and from Hill AFB about one or two per month and it was rough using electric engines -- they had the power but no way to provide heat or cooling to the cars. Their original idea was to buy a 4-truck streamlined Class "D" #70 from the Illinois Terminal. Bamberger had installed two additional automatic substations, but they were dismal failures. The already-purchased oil heater and boiler was installed in the new diesel on its arrival. They had borrowed small steam engines from the Union Pacific on some occasions, but that was very awkward. They had to drag an electric engine behind them with a trolley pole to actuate the Nachold trolley contact block signals. With the arrival of the diesel, they pulled off two of the freight crews -- mine being one of them, but Bamberger was not a company to lay off people so I went to work in the Salt Lake yard as a hostler's helper's helper. Knowing I preferred train service, they used me as an extra when one of the regular trolley men was laying off. The diesel crew had a trolleyman instead of a fireman as he had to raise and lower the trolley pole on two sections of track that still had Nachold block signals as opposed to the automatic blocks he was installing.

September arrived, and it was back to school time, so I quit, and while riding the train to Salt Lake City one day, I bumped into the Superintendent again and he asked if I thought I could handle the hostler helper job in Ogden from 3 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and still go to school. I took the job. Two weeks later, the hostler quit, so I was the hostler most of the time without a helper. This was fascinating to me because one of the jobs I had was boosting the 8:30 train to Salt Lake out on the line until I met the 7:30 train coming from Salt Lake City. This was an overlapping run so at 16 years old it was fun to be operating four-car passenger trains on every occasion that I could. Once again when school was out, I acquired seniority as a brakeman and eventually a one-man operator. I always wanted to be a freight motorman, but in order to qualify to break in you had to be a freight conductor and a one-man operator. This was kind of a premium position and I was proud of the fact that when my name was printed on the seniority list as a freight motorman, the man ahead of me was eight years my senior. They had gone that long without anybody being allowed to "break in." So, I ended up holding all seniorities on the railroad (including bus driver). In addition to that, I was the relief dispatcher giving all three dispatchers their days off. Dispatchers had their own organization unique to them -- they only wanted a day off every two weeks. It was necessary by law that the dispatcher had 15 hours rest before each shift. I maintained top pay (one-man operator, freight conductor and motorman) which was a little less than the regular dispatcher's rate of pay. So, to even things out I was given four days pay for working the three shifts, then I went back on the extra board as one-man operator/bus driver or whatever came along. One of the best routines I liked was being the relief freight crew on the day diesel job. I was a freight motorman one day, conductor the next day, brakeman the next day, trolleyman the next day and then on Saturdays I ran second sections of buses and Sundays I was the night hostler in the Salt Lake yard. That was the variety I liked. Still doing the dispatching twice a month.

I was fortunate enough to pull a run September 6, 1952 that included operating the last passenger train from Ogden to Salt Lake City, passing the last northbound at Bountiful, Utah, with Mr. Bamberger standing on the front platform with his nose pressed against the glass pane in front of him. September 6, 2002 marked the 50th year anniversary of the last train and it was celebrated by having a cake decorated with Bamberger cars at a gathering of 12 other model railroad fans in the area. On that day, I figured there were three Bamberger Railroad employees still living, out of a total of almost 100.

Utah Railway Grey and Red Paint Scheme

Warren Johnson wrote the following in an email dated April 29, 2017:

During our many visits to the Utah Railway, we had many opportunities to talk with the employees. During one of our visits Gordon Cardall and I were talking with the Chief Mechanical Officer Dale Pillings. He told us a story.

Utah Railway, at the time, was providing coal to the power plant in Moapa, Nevada. The coal was transported to Provo, Utah on the Utah Railway. Union Pacific usually transported it from there to the Moapa power plant. At one point, the UP was short of power, so they used the Utah power for that particular trip.

At the time the Utah was using SD45 locomotives that they had purchased second-hand from the Southern Pacific. They just painted out the Southern Pacific lettering on the locomotives and replaced it with Utah Railway lettering.

When they delivered the coal, the usual procedure was to send the power to Las Vegas for servicing. When they sent the power to be serviced, the Las Vegas employees were told to return all SP power back to Los Angeles because the SP was short of power and needed all power returned as soon as possible.

It was dark when the Utah power arrived at Las Vegas. After servicing, an employee thought the Utah power was SP. So the power was dispatched to Los Angeles. The Utah needed their power to run their trains. It took almost a week before the Utah could get their locomotives back to them.

When we returned home, Gordon decided the Utah Railway needed a paint scheme the was not like anything else in the west. So he painted several locomotive models in different paint schemes. These were all HO scale models.

On our next trip, Gordon took 7 models and I took 2 models with us to show Dale Pillings. When we left, Gordon left 5 models and I left 1 model. When the railroad President, John West, saw the models Dale had, he ended up with one of them. He displayed the model on his desk. When the Utah needed newer power they went to Motive Power Industries in Boise, Idaho for some reconditioned locomotives. He handed MPI one of Gordon’s models and said “I want them painted just like this”. They leased them some reconditioned locomotives to use until their locos were ready.

When delivered, the locomotives were painted exactly like Gordon’s model. Gordon said he made three mistakes on his model. 1. He always gives each letter it’s own space, but he was running out of room, so he slid the A in railway under the W, and the Y closer to the A so he could get the whole name on the side. 2. He didn’t have any black outlined numbers red numbers for the cab side so he used plain red numbers. 3. He was going to paint the fuel tank a different color, but forgot to paint the fuel tank the color he wanted.

Motive Power Industries painted the real SD40 locos exactly like his model, mistakes and all.

Gordon Cardall Obituary

Gordon Edward Cardall (1927 ~ 2016)

Gordon Edward Cardall, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away Monday, October 3, 2016. Gordon was born July 22, 1927 to Joseph Edward Cardall and Ethel Elizabeth Beers in Centerville, UT.

He married Nedra Whitaker on August 19, 1947 in the Salt Lake Temple. They recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. He is survived by his wife and three children: Connie (Max) Gilbert, Preston ID; J. Alan (Nancy) Cardall, Wellsville, UT; and Julie (David) Summers, Eagle Mountain, UT. He leaves 14 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings: Marvin J. Cardall, June Cardall Smith and Afton Cardall Anderson; and one grandson, Ricky Summers. He was an active member of the LDS Church. He served in the military in Korea.

He was an enthusiastic railroader his entire life. He was employed by Bamberger Railroad from the time he was 15 until Bamberger's final day of operation. Gordon brought the last passenger car from Ogden to Salt Lake City in 1952. From then until retirement, he worked for the US Post Office.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 8, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the Farmington Rock Chapel, 272 N. Main where friends may visit with the family from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in the Farmington Utah Cemetery.

Special thanks to Logan CNS Hospice for their loving care.

Scanning The Photos

I first met Gordon in the 1970-1971 time period at a hobby shop in what is now West Valley City. He and a group of other modelers were building a model railroad in the same building as the hobby shop. I got involved and painted a brass model of a baggage interurban car which I lettered as Wasatch Electric Railroad, a neat name for my fictitious railroad. I was living with my parents at the time, and left the car on the club layout when I moved to an apartment in Salt Lake City. I met Gordon again in 1983 through a mutual friend, Warren Johnson, and became a member of an informal model railroad group that met in member's homes, including Gordon's, Warren's and mine. My wife and I were in our own home by then and I had built a model railroad layout starting five years earlier. Our little group continued to meet for the next 23 years; my own involvement slowly fading as I became more focused on railroad history instead of railroad modeling. On several occasions I saw some of Gordon's black and white photos. Gordon was also an active railfan, and continued to share color slides he had taken of the railroads here in Utah.

When I was putting together my book about Ogden railroads in 1995 and 1996, Gordon was gracious enough to allow the use of several of his wonderful photos of Bamberger operations in Ogden. The book was published in 1997. After 2005-2006 I lost touch with Gordon as he moved several times and was unable to attend the get-togethers, but Warren kept me up to date with what Gordon was doing.

Gordon passed away in October 2016. On three occasions since then, Warren Johnson has shared packets of Gordon's photos as prints and as negatives. I asked and received permission to scan and share the photos online, and began the process finding the best scanning methods that would do the photos justice. Unfortunately, Gordon did not show locations or dates for any of these negatives. Some locations are obvious, others are not. The range of dates is early 1940s to early 1950s.

Most of the negatives are the obsolete 116-size (2-1/2 inches by 4-1/4 inches). My Epson flatbed scanner does not have a film holder for these older film sizes, so I spent time developing my own film holder that allowed three negatives to be placed on the scanner's glass. Then, using Vuescan as my software of choice, I scanned individual negatives after performing a preview and adjusting the crop box. About a 20 of Gordon's negatives are on half-120-size, and others are on 127-size film, depending on the camera Gordon used, and the film he could afford at the time. These were slipped into a clear page protector, and scanned using the same film holder. The quality of the images varied due to the quality of the processing, which again, was what Gordon could afford at the time. The largest majority of the post-scan processing was done using FastStone Image Viewer.

(Read more about how I scan photos)