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Re: PC: PC fans

Hello to all:

  I am, and will always be partial to the Penn Central...despite a 50's 
childhood in the Great Lakes area amid PRR, NYC, and an NKP still in steam. 

  I was a brakeman on PC's Cleveland Division circa 1973-'75 and got to live 
out some of the bad track horror stories (flat switching the east end of 
Collinwood's westbound yard after a rain, hanging off a swaying boxcar and 
frantically looking for a place to get off that wasn't a 2-foot deep 
mudhole), but at the same time got to witness a lot that was soon to vanish 

  - The Collinwood crew dispatcher's board where you could see your name 
posted on a brass tag dangling from a hook on a wooden revolving drum 
(roughly octagonal in shape) that showed how many "times out" you were 
before your next call on the extra board;

  - The opportunity to work with "Big Four" (ex-C.C.C.&St.L) crews, who 
maintained a separate seniority district even at that late date, and who 
were notably gifted and proud men, able to get freight over the road quickly 
due entirely to "seat-of-the-pants" expertise in working train & engine 
brakes under power over rolling gradients with bad track, keeping it all on 
the rails;

   - Getting called for a freezing, windblown 3 a.m. "dogcatcher" job (train 
left in the clear because the crew had "outlawed" on their hours of service) 
where we were transported out by crew bus to bring in 63 hoppers behind 4 
ex-NYC covered wagons (in classic A-B-B-A arrangement) sitting forlorn & 
with engine room doors left open to the elements...walking the consist and 
knocking off the handbrakes (and closing the engineroom doors), getting the 
signal from the lakefront dispatcher to roll 'em, up in the snug, warm cab 
riding the fireman's seat and listening to all the great sounds of the F's 
making transition while they dug in.

   PC fan?...you bet. 

bobr -AT- tridelta.com (Bob Rothrock)

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