A yard goat is an old rail term for locomotives that stay in the railroad yards, shuffling cars from track to track, and generally keeping things in order. Yard goats can be a specially made type of locomotive for this task, but often are re-purposed “road” engines with too many miles or simply too tattered for their former work.
When we think of steam or diesel locomotives, most people picture the powerful engines used to pull heavy freight trains, or streamlined beauties on the front of a fast passenger train. Few would remember the lowly yard goat that keeps things running smoothly, accurately, and on time.
Just as stagehands work in the dim light to move props or musical instruments when the stars have left the stage, the yard goat shuffles the cars behind the scenes in massive railroad yards.
Why we call ourselves Yard Goat Images…
We picked the name Yard Goat Images because we like what it stands for. We respect and admire those who work hard behind the scenes preserving, maintaining, and operating historic equipment. Many of these people are volunteers. Without them there would be no steam engines operating at museums, attractions, or pulling mainline excursions. There would be no streetcars or interurbans to ride.
We want you to see what they have accomplished, and the amazing work they continue to perform. Our aim is to celebrate what they do, and deliver a great program to you featuring this historic equipment.
So, I like to think we too are kind of like that humble railroad yard goat, not glamorous but working hard, making sure you can see a variety of operating historic railroad equipment courtesy of a bunch of pretty great people.