Chard L. Walker

Chard photo

A native of Massachusetts, Chard Walker moved to Los Angeles when he was 13 years old and soon became a railfan. In 1939 he joined Railroad Boosters, the pioneer railfan club in the Los Angeles area (later the Pacific Railroad Society) and went on many club excursions.

In 1946 he spent a month at Summit, staying in the club car Descanso, and had such a good time he decided to become a train order operator for the Santa Fe, in the hope he could bid in a job at the Summit depot. He studied telegraphy at a trade school, then broke in as an operator at the Summit and Victorville stations under the guidance of other operators.

In June, 1947 he became a night clerk at Victorville, and in September became a train order operator. At the beginning of 1951 he became the regular relief operator at Summit, and held this position until the Summit station was closed in 1967, then worked at Barstow and Victorville until his retirement in June, 1983. He continued to live in the high desert of California until his death on September 28, 2007.