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ter, call signals, we were at a real disadvantage. Anyway, the engineman remembered that he had had his injector on to test it when the glass broke, and was too sheepish to tell me. That was the reason the pressure had been going down. We were not losing enough steam to matter.
When the 306 had four broken staybolts in a group right in front of my seat we had to run her down to Proctor light one Sunday forenoon. The shop had her rebuilt and the 306 doubleheaded the local back that same night. They looked for me, but luckily I was at a vaudeville show in Duluth - my first entertainment in months.
Occasionally I fired the varnish. The passenger crew pulled in on the wye at Mitchell, making a straight air stop, leaving the air on the cars. Any engine working in the neighborhood grabbed the rear and ran the 2 miles to Hibbing, while the regular crew ate lunch and oiled around.
The schedule for the 2 miles to Hibbing was 4 minutes. This included a Great Northern crossing stop, a station stop (the station no longer exists, neither does passenger service), and a stop at the Winston Deare crossing. No engine built could haul six steel cars 2 miles with four starts and four stops in 4 minutes. But we tried, and ended up with little steam, fire, or water.
The mining companies at that time operated hundreds of 0-6-0 and 0-4-0 switchers which, because they were cleaner and blacker than our engines, were called Mudhens. They dragged
all of the ore out of the pits. None of all anyone ever said to me about the the ore at that time, I think, was union. It carried me — free during treated. It came out in ore cars and the war, but afterwards it was too exwas placed on the tracks ready for the pensive as insurance or I might, even trip to the docks. One midnight we now, belong to the Firemen. rode one of the Mudhens down into An engine crew who had been the pit for dinner as guests of the working together all fall carried out a Oliver Mining Company. I proposed two-man strike. The boarding house to stand on the gangway going down, at Mitchell (it is still there) was nothbut that was vetoed. I soon found out ing to boast about. I was furnished why. The apron, between engine and with a face towel from a chair car. It tender, worn to a knife edge, some- had the Missabe herald on it and was times stood straight knife-edge up! my only towel for a week. Jones was That was the roughest track I ever an engineer hired from the Grand rode over and it was used only for Trunk Pacific. One evening he and downbound movements.
his fireman objected to the meat at the For two weeks we hauled gravel boarding house, saying it was “dog out of the Hull Rust pit to help fill the meat." There was a little confusion previously mentioned bog. Johnson, here. What they meant was that the my engineman, was easygoing. While meat was fit only for dogs. But a dog we were loading flat cars with a steam had been killed in the yards the day shovel he would sit with his feet up before, so what the proprietor thought on the air valve reading Westerns. they implied you can guess. The two Since we had to spot a car several men went to Hibbing for dinner while times to load it, I would say, “Back the superintendent settled the strike. up," and he would kick off the straight On my last two days of railroading air with his foot; the cars would roll I fired for Jones on a little Tenback. “That'll do.” He'd kick it on Wheeler. It had exploded on the road again without looking up.
some years before, blowing the boiler At the time a strike of enginemen off the right of way without killing was threatened, and the older men the engineer. He was, however, parweren't interested. Those old hoggers tially disabled and was roundhouse would rather sit on an engine than foreman at Proctor that year. anywhere else. But the point was that The injector on the Ten-Wheeler the men wanted a shorter workday. wouldn't work if the tank was less They got more pay.
than half full, and there was a patch I was worried about my status in on the fire side of the crown sheet; case there was a strike, and I asked but Jones could handle that engine. Johnson how to join the Brotherhood. Where others would make two or He said, “I guess you asked the right three runs trying to push cars up onto man — I'm the secretary.” And that's the various coal docks, working water
in the cylinders in the process, Jones pushed them up with no trouble at all. It was magic. Jones taught me how to fire an engine, working a light throttle. A few days more with him and I would have been a real fireman.
But I was called back to Proctor where, rather than catch coldweather trip on one of the 2-8-0's (all of which needed attention from the shops), I laid off. By the time the ore season started in 1917 the First World War had started for us, and I never went back to railroad work.
OFTEN when I have spare time in a town I gravitate to the railroad yards. At Binghamton, N. Y., many years after the events I have been relating, I stood on an overpass watching an Erie milk train at the station below. An elderly man, no acquaintance of mine, stood near me. As the runner got the highball and opened the throttle, and that great Pacific blasted under the bridge, my companion turned to me and said simply, "She's gone." We were just a couple of nostalgic old rails. His remark was not intended to be prophetic, but it was. I
Half a century at
Collection of Ames W. Williams.
Ames W. Williams.
these days has happily skirted the country town of Herndon (population last year, 1960) down in Fairfax County, Virginia. In July 1910 the Official Guide credited Herndon to the Bluemont Branch of the Southern Railway, whose 2-8-0 No. 77 had just clanked across the main drag to occupy the attention of the lady in the street-sweeping attire (not to mention the buggy-borne bystanders gathered in the square). Fifty years later, in July 1960, the same sturdy, boxlike frame buildings stood at trackside but the rails belonged to the Chesapeake & Ohio-controlled Washington & Old Dominion (whose parent's Alco yard units were easing across the now paved main street). The Herndon of 1910 would have been astonished by the smokeless engines of our day and shocked by the girl in short shorts, but otherwise would have found little changed. It is good to find a place where age hasn't been an excuse for change ... and where 1910 and 1960 have been tied together by rails with the continuity these photographs indicate. — D.P.M.
Hospitable Santa Fe
On October 28, 1961, the Santa Fe Railway held open house at Corwith Yard, Chicago, for all Chicago area railfans.
We were given an interesting brochure of descriptive material and were allowed to visit the Trainmaster's tower in the Terminal Office Building at the north end of the yard; inspect and photograph new freight equipment on display; inspect the diesel shop; take a ride through the yard on a train of gondola cars pulled by GP7 No. 2823; inspect and photograph piggyback facilities, the hump, and hump tower. After this we were returned to the Terminal Office Building for coffee and doughnuts.
The accompanying photo, which I took that day from inside the Trainmaster's tower, looking south over the yard, shows, in the lower foreground, the new freight equipment on display; beyond that, the string of gondola cars waiting for our inspection trip; and beyond that, diesel 337 ready to couple onto Advance 39. The tower operator is inquiring over the twoway radio, “Three thirty-seven, when are you going to tie onto your train?" To which 337 replies, “We are tying on!” and diesel 337 starts backing up to its train.
Carl J. Bachmann. 4030 N. Plainfield Ave., Chicago 31, m.
The Old Woman's FT's
On page 10 of August 1961 TRAINS was a photograph of a number of former New York, Ontario & Western FT's on ErieLackawanna tracks in Jersey City.
Why hasn't some other road or roads acquired some or all of these? Could it be that the equipment trusts are trying to get back all the money they loaned on the units — which might be nearly as much as the price of new modern power?
I have read that the NYO&W had paid in very little on the sales contracts and that the Federal Government had refused to allow repossession in an effort to keep the O&W from folding up.
Is the foregoing anywhere near the answer to my question?
M. W. Snow. 6 Mapleshade Ave., Falconer, N. Y. The former NYO&W units, according to Erie-Lackawanna, are the property of a private individual. His ownership includes 14 locomotives, 26 cabooses, 1 water heater tender, 21 hopper cars, and 6 gondolas. These are stored on 3000 feet of track at Croxton Yard which EL has leased to him. Delegations from Mexico and Cuba inspected the equipment some months ago but nothing has happened — R.E.
You would no doubt be well advised to maintain the balanced content of TRAINS. I'm something of a modernist and would enjoy an all-diesel issue (page 50, November 1961 TRAINS) if it was well done, but I envision it as opening Pandora's box for you in the future. In horror, the traction fraternity, carrying "Ira Swett Forever” banners, will also demand equal representation, and we will have an allinterurban issue. Then you will get a
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Photographed by Gene Miller
Scenes included were made from the mid-1930's until the late 1950's. The film shows most of the L. & N.'s steam locomotive types in action from those of the early days of the century until the end of the era of steam.
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Included are several different series of Consolidation-type locomotives; a number of the road's Pacifics, including individual locomotives that were streamlined late in the 1930's; switchers of the 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 varieties, Mikados in both freight and passenger service, and the L. & N.'s 400-series Mountain-type locomotives.
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growl from the modern electric boosters
No, better stick to presenting a little of
2200 S. Rundle, Lansing 10, Mich.
Is that X3950?
As usual, I enjoyed the latest issue
The reluctant P5a
On October 2, 1961, I was in the Butler (Pa.) area and snapped the accompanying photo at Butler Junction on the Pennsylvania.
Since the 4400-series electrics have taken over freight duties, most of the P5a's are headed for the torch. This old baby (number unknown) gave the road foreman of engines gray hair before his time. It left the rails five times before I shot this picture, the center tire was cut off 4 inches above the rails, and still it gave the PRR a headache all the way to the torch. The reason it bent the rail: a track gang had transposed this rail two days before, and the P5a's 195
tons were just too much. The Butler
Of course, this little mishap tied up
Some more on semantics
number 35 of a series
Editor looks at 2-8-4
UPON the occasion of re
calling Wisconsin's 32nd Division to active duty, there was a large troop train movement out to Fort Lewis, Wash. One of these main trains hit a truck and derailed, and though no servicemen were seriously hurt, four porters and a Pullman conductor lost their lives when the ends of two cars telescoped. According to our local paper, the soldiers took up a collection of approximately $200 for the truck driver's widow. This struck us as incongruous as well as symptomatic of the times in which we live. For that matter, the whole transport dilemma in the U. S. stems in large measure from unethical as well as illogical treatment of the rails. TRAINS, for one, doesn't intend to play possum, whether the injustice occurs at a grade crossing or in a Senate bill. Another reason why we call TRAINS the magazine of railroading.
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