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In Memory of James T. Bradley

In Memory of James T. Bradley

  James T. Bradley - Dallas, TX

James T. "Jim" Bradley takes a break on a Dallas,
Garland & Northeastern switch engine in Dallas, Tx.
April 1993.
Mr. James T. "Jim" Bradley, a Texas railroader and author, passed away on June 1, 2005. I did not know James personally, but I did meet him once, on an afternoon of railfanning around Dallas' Tower 19 in April of 1993. He graciously invited me aboard his crew's switch engine and allowed me to take his photograph (part of an assignment for one of my college photography classes) as he took a break on the steps of Dallas Garland & Northeastern GP7 2022.

Author and rail historian Steve Goen shared the following words with the Railspot list and other internet lists... I found his heartfelt comments to be an appropriate tribute to Mr. Bradley. Steve has granted me permission to post his comments here. - WSC

(Please scroll down to read Mr. Goen's comments.)

I wanted to let everyone on Railspot, the MKT site, and the RITS List know that James T. (Jim) Bradley passed away yesterday (June 1, 2005). James was well known in local railroad circles and will be deeply missed by all.

James' list of involvement with the railroad industry is long. He worked on the Santa Fe, MoPac, C&EI, BN, and numerous others during his lengthy career. Most notably, he was an engineer on the Rock Island out of Chicago before moving to Texas where he worked out of Peach Yard. After the RI shutdown he worked for a time on the short-lived North Central Texas Railroad (NCTR) between Ft. Worth and Chico before being hired by the Katy. On the MKT he worked primarily out of Ney Yard in Fort Worth.

Like so many others who were affected by the UP merger in 1988, James eventually took his buy-out and then hired out with the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern (DGNO) where he worked the five day-a-week Garland-Greenville turn and various Dallas area switch jobs. It was during his employment on the DGNO that James would often operate the Santa Fe M-160 doodlebug from the Age of Steam Museum up to Garland each July for "Garland's Star Spangled 4th Celebration".

James was a member of several railroad historical societies and enjoyed attending annual conventions whenever he could. He attended the joint BRHS-RITS national convention held in Fort Worth back in 2000 and last attended the RITS 2003 convention at OKC. Unfortunately, it was at OKC that he first confided to me that he had only recently learned that he had an aggressive form of cancer.

James is also well known for publishing his caboose book which was one of, if not the first book ever done on this topic. Other printed works included his diesel roster and maintenance-of-way book.

One of the things that James will forever be remembered for is his excellent photography work which earned him countless awards and honors at railroad conventions and train shows. Not only did he take excellent 35mm color slides, he also managed to shoot a fair share of Super-8mm with sound movies of trains in the Chicago area. His photography work was so much above the average railfan that it was almost guaranteed that James Bradley would walk away with the first place honors at every RITS or KRHS convention he attended.

James also liked to chase steam. One such trip was to St. Louis in 1990 when he and Rodney Fraser teamed up to chase the 1522 across the rugged Ozarks, as well as the UP 844 on its trip up into central Illinois.

A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday, June 4.

James will be missed by all who knew him.

Steve Goen


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