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Tales of Work Train Woes - Page 115



Excerpt from...Leaving L.A. by Train at Night, High
By Neal Cassady - Brakeman - Southern Pacific Railroad

The maze of tracks have unwreathed from cross-over webs of railroad intellectuality to become simple main line dignity; these ribbons of accurate gauge so ceaselessly toiled over, respected, feared. 
Oh, unending high rail of intrigue.


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This is me and the legendary "Bones." You cannot see them but there are two invisible men standing beside us in this photo, "Brad" and "Spike."

"The Bones" is in his own little world half the time, but he's a knowledgeable railroadman and a plain ol' good guy at that! He's just another character who makes the railroad a special place.

Shortly after this photo was taken Steve blew up this caboose while attempting to light the kerosene stove. It was just another wonderful beginning to a glorious railroad day.

It's late fall in 1989. A cloudy, miserable Saturday morning. While the rest of the world eats pop tarts and watches the Saturday morning cartoons, we're on our way to New London, CT with a gondola full of old wooden ties, four empty hoppers and rickety ol' buggy on the tail end.

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Just east of Mansfield Station, the brakeman Crash Jr. noticed heavy smoke starting to pour out of the gondola. Before we knew it, there was a raging railroad inferno.

The Dispatcher shut the line down while we waited for the Mansfield Fire Department.

While waiting for the Fire Department to show up we posed for photos of in front of this dramatic scene!

It took them about 25 minutes to put out the fire. Just another exciting kind of railroad day.


 

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