Railroad crossings and public streets have had a dangerous liason since the advent of the Iron Horse. Before modern automated crossing protection, busier crossings were often protected by a flagman who stopped road traffic whenever a train approached. Between trains, the flagman needed a place to rest. A crossing shanty was placed near the tracks so the flagman could relax and keep warm in the winter (a coal-fired stove provided the heat). Since little physical labor was required, the job often was assigned to employees on light duty from injury or otherwise disabled. Mid-Continent’s shanty is used during special events, when a flagman is on duty. Its coal stove provides heat during Snow Train.

no data, Paul Swanson photo