Working on the
P. Schaeffer Stories
Library Junction and J. Marvin Conley
a few days after the Fouth of July 1980. I have spent the better part
of the morning photographing Montour Extra 75 East...and Montour Extra
75 West, doing a Brookside Turn. Being employed on the Montour RR,
first as a Track Laborer, then taking the promotion to "non-agreement"
Yardmaster and Relief Train Dispatcher in 1978, a move that allowed me
the opportunity to know when anything extra-ordinary was happening on
this fascinating little railroad.
Working in this
"non-agreement" position, I was now working with Montour trainmen on a
daily basis. For the most part, working hand in hand with the train
crews was a good experience. There were a few that could make the
average work day a real pain in the butt, but most often the majority
of the trainmen were great guys to be around. Take for instance this
July Day in 1980. The weather was perfect. No clouds and blue skies.
Most photographers love these conditions. I don't. I'd rather have
lightly clouded skies when I'm out with the cameras. Anyhow, todays
Brookside crew consisted of Conductor J. Marvin Conley and Engineer
Marvin Conley was one of the guys that made
work day life so easy. Marvin and his Father both worked most of their
lives on the Montour RR. Marvin worked as Train Dispatcher, Yardmaster
and Trainman. Marvin was a lean man, impressive in stature,
intelligence, witty and quick in making moves. Marvin and I hit it off
early in my life along the Montour RR. Marvin was also the Union
President for Montours trainmen. And luckily, Marvin took care of me
and my inexperience in my early years of employment in this Management
Position... In later years as Train Dispatcher, when opportunites were
there, and when Marvin needed a quick move to get in for personal
business, he never had to ask twice.
So on this July Day
back in 1980... Marvin, fascinated by the perserverence of this young
Historian of the Montour RR and his efforts to record on film the
operations of this old railroad, respectfully rewarded the
photographers request, by again...turning "his" train at Library
Junction on their Westward move out of Brookside for more photographs.
this black & white image, Montour Extra 75 West has shoved in
through the East Leg of the Wye at Library Junction...and is now cut
away from the 4 empty cars unloaded at Brookside Lumber...
Pictured on the ground is J. Marvin Conley, who will reline the inside
switch for the West Leg of Library Junction Wye once Engine 75 clears
as it heads back out the East Leg of the wye...to turn... Engine
75 will be going back out through the East Leg of Library Junction where
it will reverse direction again, heading west down the main track at
Library Junction...again stopping at the West Wye Main Track Switch...
Then backing in through the West Leg of Library Junction Wye... where
the 4 Brookside empties and caboose 35 were cut off... Then again,
proceeding West out of the West Leg of Library Junction Wye with the
entire 4 car train...just so a photographer can record a train movement
using the Wye at Library Junction...
Being there at
Library Junction on this summers day... As Extra 75 West and its 4 car
train proceeded out the West Wye... The sounds of this movement were of
ear piercing squeels of railroad wheel flanges removing a heavy build
up of rust off the heavily rusted rail of that West Leg of
Library Junction Wye.... Library Junction hadn't been used in
several years since the closing of Montour #10 mine on the Library
Branch in 1978... And Thanks to the kindness of Montour Conductor
J. Marvin Conley... One last event was held for the camera.
2007 I understand J. Marvin Conley is no longer with us. But way
back in 1980, Marv Conley knew the fascination the Montour RR held for
one young employee and historian...
Thank You J. Marvin Conley...
Gene P. Scaeffer