Large Scale Central

Sanding Tower?

So I was looking at picture of the STMA for matching colors. Someone on here, in some thread I can’t find, suggested using Rustoleum 2X paint and removing it from the can and then mixing colors and using the paint in an airbrush. I am very intrigued by this and whoever you are and what ever thread it is on, thank you. I think this is a great idea and after a few Youtube vids on draining the cans and storing the paint I can’t think of a cheaper and better way to acquire a lot paint that can be played with and then airbrushed.

But anyway one thing I came across is a picture of two of the STMA locos not to long after the RRs formation and fresh out of the paint shop. Sort of a “builders” photo if you will. But it shows two curious things in the photo, at least for me. One is a telephone/telegraph pole and the other is what I believe is a sanding tower. Now there is little to no information about the slide, its just someone who sells RR slides and pictures not the person who took it or even knows anything about the RR. I can’t even say this is in St Maries ID. It could be somewhere else wherever the locos were modified and painted back when they were purchased.

But if it is St Maries, Idaho circa 1980 when the RR was born, then that pole and sanding tower are no longer there and have not been there since I started paying attention to the STMA operations about the early 2000s.

My question for all of you, is that structure in the photo what I think it is which is a sanding tower? If so its a neat one being wood and more like a coal bin than a sanding “tank” which is more what I am used to seeing.

Sanding tower

Looks like a sanding tower to me. Way to small for an old coaling tower.

Sand is sent up via pneumatic air.

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Yes I highly doubt its a coaling tower. I am not sure there ever was a coaling facility in St Maries. But that does kind bring up an interesting thought and I can’t recall any early photos in St Maries or Avery Idaho or any point in between where I have seen coaling facilities or even a water tank for that matter. Of course Steam was long gone by 1980 so It would not surprise me at all if neither of these persisted after the diesel age. But a hold over sanding tower certainly would have as the dino burners use sand also. So I am thinking this is a sanding tower and I am dying to know if it is St Maries and where it would have sat at the yard. I have not bothered to try and look at old photos of St Maries so it could very well have been there. But if it was there in the 1980’s it was gone by 2000.