More from Inside the Alden Railroad Depot

Past posts here have looked at the outside of the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas, as well as at the inside of the depot. But there was so much to see inside the depot that I have even more photos from our depot. So here are some more of the sights that we saw.

More Railroad Stuff

Semaphore arm in the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

The railroad depot’s previous owners had collected all sorts of interesting railroad items, and they were displayed throughout the depot, especially in the waiting room. Railroads used semaphore arms like this one to signal engineers about the track conditions ahead, with the semaphore mounted on an arm outside. The different colored lenses would pivot over a light so that the signal could be seen at night, and the position of the arm would be visible during the day.

Railroad signs, art, and photos

Other items displayed in the waiting room included some old Santa Fe logo signs, railroad art, and even old photographs. My guess is that most of these items were not original to this particular depot, but were added later by the owners/collectors. It was still interesting to see all of it, however.

Potbelly stove in the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

The previous post included photos of two potbelly stoves, one in the office and one in the baggage storage room. But this stove in the waiting room was the most ornate of the three. The elaborate metalwork was interesting to see. I also liked seeing the buckets of coal, and even the boxes of assorted things off to the right.

Santa Fe Railroad bell in the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

One of the most interesting items in the railroad depot was this Santa Fe bell that would have been on a locomotive at some point. Unable to resist (and who could?), Laura rang the bell. It had a beautiful, clear ring, even after all of these years. The oil can to the left of the bell was also quite interesting. Engineers would use those to oil the locomotive’s parts when the train was stopped at a station.

Brakeman and conductor railroad caps

The display case in the waiting room held all sorts of interesting objects, but many of them were difficult to see because of the dust on the glass of the case. I was able to get a good photo of these caps that fascinated me, however. The cap on the left was a brakeman’s cap, while the cap on the right was a conductor’s cap. Everyone who worked on the railroads back in the old days had such interesting uniforms that added a distinguished air to their positions.

Santa Fe Bulletins board

This Santa Fe Bulletins board was next to the door into the depot. Included on the board here was a notice from 1909 stating that it is unlawful to transport gunpowder and explosives on a passenger train. Another notice directed passengers about who to contact about company tariffs.

In the Office

Books in the cubbies in the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

All kinds of interesting books and papers filled the cubby holes in the office desk. Here you can see a booklet whose partial title is “St. Louis and All Points East.” It appears to be a guide to the different dining and sleeper cars that were available. To the right are some old shipping forms. And below is a rather new and not period-specific plastic bag, just to remind you of our current modern days.

Inside the railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

The office walls also held all sorts of memorabilia, such as old posters and calendars. Just to the left of this photo was the bay window pictured in the earlier posts.

Heading Outside

One last look

All too soon, our time inside the Alden railroad depot came to an end. We had other things to do, and the historical society had things to discuss. Of course, I couldn’t help taking one more photo on the way out, and that is what you see in this photo above. Good memories of a fun place.

Railroad depot in Alden, Kansas

I also could not resist taking one more photo of the exterior as we left. Actually, I took a few more. But they all look pretty similar to this one. I liked the juxtaposition of the old railroad depot with the newer railcars and grain elevator in the background. Not to mention that the sky was once again a beautiful blue color.

A mighty big tractor!

And then, as we were leaving, someone was starting up one of the Frederick Harvesting tractors across the street, with its interesting wheels and huge attachment. So my Dad went over to have a brief chat. That tractor is much bigger than ours at home, and with the attachment, it is almost longer than our house! We were all fascinated by it, to say the least.

Fun Times

So you might think that we are easily amused. And you might be right. But I like that that we can still find wonder in seemingly small things, like a big tractor or an old railroad depot. In today’s world of screens and high technology, the older ways of doing things can still be rather interesting.

Don’t let adulthood and iPhones and Playstations keep you from enjoying and appreciating the other things in life!

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39

About the Photos

In the previous post from inside the depot, I had exclusively used the 50mm prime lens. But I eventually swapped lenses, and for some of these photos, I used the standard 28-70mm zoom lens. I did have to increase the ISO setting, but fortunately, that did not add too much grain into the photos. Even if it did, it was worth it to get a few wider-angle photos than what I could get with the 50mm lens. Both lenses have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why it is good to use both of them on occasion.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens and Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Date: October 4, 2021
Location: Alden, Kansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.