« PreviousContinue »
HE Division Superintendent preserve on Moon Creek and I know the
who was finding the science same kind of sand,” replied the Old Man of railroad operation, as magnified by with a sigh that was like an air-brake the plate glass windows of the Old Man's being tested. “The sand I mean is not private car, almost as interesting as the carried in the dome of the engine, but art of manufacturing automobiles. The somewhere in the dome of the engineer. Old Man's Secretary came in with a Let me tell you the biggest secret of the pouch of messages and smoothed out railroad business. If we could not get this telegram under the focus of their men of sand for engineers, conductors, eyes:
and brakemen, train operation would be "YELLOW BLUFF, Dec. 10. so disastrous that public indignation “Div. Supt. en route :
would chain our wheels. We will be "Engineer Watts, Fireman Lukens, and Brakeman Gifford on engine four three
passing freight One Two Five in an one freight train one two five found hour and I'll call the engineer aboard.” Moon Creek trestle on fire. Applied
Engineer Watts, in a siding, was asemergency stopping train half car length from trestle. Engine to avoid stopping
tonished when the private car stopped in flames cut loose and crossed trestle and the Division Superintendent beckat high speed then backed up cautiously oned him in. and extinguished fire with engine hose. Crew reinforced trestle timbers and
"Tell us about Moon Creek trestle," train proceeded. Loss of time forty the Old Man directed when Engineer minutes."
Watts, wadding his cap like a ball of “Here's excitement !" cried the Biggest greasy waste, stood soldier-stiff in the Shipper. "But while that engine was car. crossing the burning trestle where were “Not much to tell. We were doing the three men who had been in the cab?" thirty-five an hour when we came around
The secretary smiled decorously. The the curve. I whistled and leaned out to Old Man shook in his wicker chair, then get the first glimpse of the crossing." exploded: “Still in the cab, of course. All of Watts' embarrassment fell from Did you suppose they would be out him as he spoke of his train. “The tresstraddling the boiler ?”
tle was hidden in smoke. The only flame "I supposed they would be jumping I could see was leaping up from the timto avoid being carried into the flames,” bers underneath. I put the Johnson the Biggest Shipper snapped. “Why in bar into the reverse and threw on the the name of Heaven did they remain in emergency. We had jammed down to a the cab when the engine was likely to ten-mile speed when I saw that the catch fire, even if the burning timbers engine was going to stop in the fire. didn't let it fall through the bridge?” The forward brakeman, Gifford, was in
"I suppose," the Old Man said soberly, the cab. I ordered him to get over the “that seemed the simplest way of keeping tender and unhook us from the slowing a little sand on the rails.".
train. As he set the angle cocks and Puzzled wrinkles ridged the Biggest pulled the pin I let the engine shoot Shipper's face. “I've got a shooting ahead. We picked up speed so quickly
we were doing a forty-mile clip when we went into the smoke. We got across all right, then backed up when we found it was safe and put out the fire. It had not yet eaten through any of the main supports. Our cast-off cars slid up so close in stopping that the first box car caught, but nothing was burned except the paint. When the crew had set in a couple of timbers and planted a flag, we gathered up the train and went on.”
“How did you know your engine wouldn't drop through the burning tres
tle?" the Biggest Shipper demanded.
“Why,” puzzled the engineer, “I guess I didn't know.”
“Then why, after you had cut off the train and started the engine for the bridge, didn't you and the fireman jump?"
The lines in Engineer Watts' face crinkled and crooked.
“You get your shoes dusty jumping," he smiled.
“Did the brakeman remain behind with the train after he unhooked you ?"
"THE ENGINEER IS THE LONELIEST WORKER IN THE WORLD" “He is a thoughtful owl as he sits in that passenger cab. He does not allow the fireman to speak to him unless
GUARDING THE REAR
up the road to warn any oncoming traffic..
"Now I know about sand! I saw in that engineer just what you meant. Why, I need this quality in my factory as much as you need it on your rails. Where can I go for a thousand of these men of sand?"
The Old Man rocked and teetered (until the wicker chair all but went over.
“You can go to the devil," at length he sputtered; "but you won't find a thousand of these fellows any more than you'll find one !"
"I won't, eh? Then how do you do it?
How do all the railroads find their men “I believe not, sir. The forward brake- of sand?" man's place is on the engine.”
“They don't find 'em, you simpleton. The Biggest Shipper pulled out his They have to gather the raw material watch. It was a thin, open-faced, jewel- and make them to order.". studded monitor of the seconds. He pressed it on the resisting engineer. On one of the big Western roads there
“Don't be afraid to run your train is a train master who has distinguished by it; it keeps exact time,” he assured himself as a picker and developer of the Watts. “I present it to you because you human raw material. An empty sleeve have opened my eyes to something that dating from his conductor days emwill be worth about a hundred times as phasizes his fitness to discuss the hazmuch as the watch.”
ards of his trade, yet the loss of an After the engineer had gone back to arm seems to "have worked no actual his cab and the special was again under crippling; when he raises all three way, the Biggest Shipper exclaimed: fingers of his remaining hand there is not a human unit on the division in too big a hurry to stop, look, and listen.
"To become a successful railroader a man must be big enough between the ears to like a job that is never going to grow easy," said this train master; "and he must have come into the world with something inside which, when he sets out for a place in particular, will keep his feet moving until he arrives. When he comes into the service he will find himself as closely coupled with other men as box cars in an apple train. He will learn that each of those box cars is rolling on no wheels but its own. What will he do in an emergency? We have to train him up so he'll know—and so we'll know, too.
“We must begin with the right material. One day an applicant couldn't see why I had to know all about his parents and his home life, and what kind of a trail he could leave with a fountain pen when all he had asked for was a job at braking on freight. I explained to him that
BUSY AS A TIGHT ROPE WALKER Most roads do not hire brakemen or firemen. They hire men who use that work as a college course.
THE DIMINUTIVE TRAIL BLAZER
OF THE SIERRAS The old engine occupies a place of honor in one of the shops of the company. Compare it with the locomotive which drags the train
STARTING OVER THE MOUNTAINS Hauling ten steel coaches over the big grades at passenger speed is a task for a big engine and for big men in the cab.
I had never hired a brakeman or a fire- outgrow. I draw him a pretty lurid man in my life; that all I was looking picture of the hardships and dangers. for was material that would work up into If determination still sticks out the cortopnotch conductors and engineers; that ners of his mouth and eyes, I know that setting brakes and throwing coal were boy is full of little particles now no not jobs, but just a college course. harder than' cartilage that will crystallize
"I want boys who have been through into grains of sand while he is being the high school. The mental training is made into a trainman. necessary. If a boy is a slouch in ap- "If the student survives six weeks of pearance, if his teeth are neglected, or it he is sent to the examiners. If he if he wears his hat on the back of his makes ninety per cent on the rules he neck, I pull the pin on him before we becomes an extra brakeman with pay. ever get under way. Every time I look He is subject to call day or night. After over a prospective brakeman I am try- being used for half a year or for a year ing to decide whether, in fifteen or and a half to chink every undesirable twenty years, he will be able to come into hole, he gets a regular run. He can then the car and say 'Tickets, please!' without put his bed in the caboose, hang his making the passengers wish they had clothes in the locker and buy an interest taken some other line.
in the cook stove. When he is not ‘rid"The boy must know that whatever ing high', switching, or wrestling less fear he has is a baby trait he is going to than carload lots, he is discussing train
"THEY DON'T FIND 'EM-THEY HAVE TO GATHER THE RAW MATERIAL AND MAKE
THEM TO ORDER".